Americans are still not having enough vegetables despite the widely publicized benefits of eating them. According to a recent report released by the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, only 4 percent of Americans meet their daily required consumption of veggies. The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance’s 2015 Report Card has given the marketing of vegetables an F grade while the consumption of vegetables among kids has received a D grade. Meaning most Americans are no healthier than an average school kid.
People who eat fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Health experts encourage people to make half their plate fruits and vegetables. But even with the growing popularity of vegetable-inspired meals and veggie-forward restaurants, people still don’t consume enough vegetables at home. The Alliance’s 2015 Report Card says that the problem is moving from bad to worse. During the past five years, the average consumption of veggies declined by 6 percent.
Fruits and Vegetables are Important for Health
Veggies are a vital part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including folate (folic acid), fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, E and C. Garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli are superfoods because they provide additional benefits. Potassium helps to maintain healthy blood pressure while fiber in vegetables contributes to lower risk of heart disease and reduces blood cholesterol levels. Folate (folic acid) on the other hand helps the body form healthy red blood cells.
But why are Americans not eating enough veggies? The Alliance’s report offers some reasons as to why. First, it says that dinner looks different these days with the growing popularity of one-dish meals and convenience items such as sandwiches and pizzas. These have pushed the vegetable side off the plate. Secondly, when it comes to preparing meals at home, parents are not as strict on making sure their kids have enough fruits and veggies. “Parents don’t want to make tailored meals for everyone at home and be line cooks” explains Elizabeth Pivonka, the CEO and president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, and a registered dietitian. About 35 percent of parents view getting their kids to eat veggies as a battle, just behind getting them to stop bickering and to clean their room.
The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance has developed a plan that will increase accessibility of vegetables in schools, communities, on menus and worksites. The organization will promote efforts that will give people the motivation and nutrition education to eat more veggies.
NutriFusion® Can Increase Daily Vegetable Consumption
We have consistently seen this problem in nutrition and healthy eating over the past 5 years. We developed our stabilized whole fruit and vegetable powders to help packaged food companies deliver better nutrition. Our formulas can give foods as much as 50% of the daily value of complex vitamins from vegetables. Our goal is to help children and adults eat healthier packaged foods made from natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the consumer packaged food page.