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Only 4% of Americans are Eating Enough Vegetables

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.

vegetables

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.

kid's healthBut 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.

Nutrients from Fruits & Vegetables are Depleting

Our food is losing its nutrition from vitamins and minerals. Modern intensive farming may have solved many of our malnutrition problems, but it has caused vitamin and mineral content to decrease. Why does this matter? The phytonutrients and micronutrients in fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet.

Nutrients Research From 1950 to 2011

Fortunately for us, biochemists around the world have been keeping tabs on the nutrient concentrations in a variety of fruits and vegetables for the past 50 years. One of those biochemists is Donald Davis from the University of Texas. In 2011, Davis found notable declines in nutrient counts in several fruits and vegetables when comparing 2009 numbers to 1950 numbers. He found a 43% decline in iron and a 12% decline in calcium, which was in-line with his 1999 study where he found a 15 % decrease in vitamin C and a 38% decrease in vitamin B2.

Another study in 2005 revealed that vegetables lost a considerable amount of copper, magnesium and sodium; fruits dropped copper, iron, and potassium when compared to fruits and vegetables grown in the 1930s.

GMOs Pose Risks Around Nutrients Depletion

Recently, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study comparing organic and GMO growing methods. Their study found that organic apple growing methods produce nutrients with at least a 15% increase in antioxidant properties.

 

 

 

Davis and others blame agricultural practices that emphasise quantity over quality. High-yielding crops produce more food, more rapidly, but they can’t make or absorb nutrients at the same pace, so the nutrition is diluted. “It’s like taking a glass of orange juice and adding an equal amount of water to it. If you do that, the concentration of nutrients that was in the original juice is dropped by half,” says Davis.  (WakingTimes.com)

Of course, the research around nutrients depletion has caused some controversy. Many of the objectors claim that old methods of measuring nutrients do not offer a fair comparison of the most accurate methods of today. So, fruits and vegetables have lost trace elements of some vitamins and minerals, but we have drastically increased the supply and variety of our food.

Other Causes of Nutrients Depletion in Food

Photo: epa.gov

Photo: epa.gov

In 2014, a group of Harvard University researchers tested 41 different types of grains and legumes under CO2 levels that we are likely to experience over the next 40 to 60 years. They were able to show that most of the crops would see zinc and iron decrease between 5% – 10% in the future CO2 levels. It’s alarming to see these significant reductions in nutrients, which is truly the value of fruits and vegetables. However, climate change and CO2 are not the only things causing nutrient depletion.

Transportation and Distribution Problems

Many of the methods around transporting fruits and vegetables cause them to lose a lot their nutrients in the process. For example, tomatoes are picked unripe, so they don’t bruise easily, but they miss out on some antioxidants and flavor. Many times vegetables picked off the vine early lose valuable energy from the growing process.

The Bottom Line

In today’s fast-paced world of food processing, production, and transportation may be making food less nutritious, but it is supplying us with so much more food. Overall, we need to be eating more fruit and vegetables. Our company, NutriFusion, is dedicated to helping solving this problem. We want to help companies supply natural nutrients from fruits and vegetables in many of the foods that you already eat. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion and our process of stabilizing micronutrients and phytonutrients, please contact us below!

Full Article: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/10/22/fruits-and-vegetables-reaching-an-alarming-state-of-nutrient-depletion/

Infographic: The Benefits of Fruits & Vegetables

Today’s blog post focuses on a great infographic from PrecisionNutrition about the powerful benefits of eating fruits & vegetables. The importance of phytonutrients is greatly underestimated. PrecisionNutrition does an incredible job at showcasing how different colors of fruits & vegetables contain special benefits. Read through the infographic to learn more.


 

Fruits & Vegetables

Infographic: PrecisionNutrition


 

Key Points From the Infographic

To Maximize Health, Eat 1 Cup Per Day of Each Color

  • “Color deficiencies” in phytonutrients increase our risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Green Fruits & Vegetables are Rich in These Phytonutrients

  • EGCG, isothiocyanate, lutein, zeaxanthin, isoflavones, flavonoids, coumestans

Red Fruits & Vegetables are Rich in These Phytonutrients

  • Lycopene, ellagic acid, caffeoylquinic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids

Yellow/Orange Fruits & Vegetables are Rich in These Phytonutrients

  • Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, hesperetin, beta-cryptoxanthin, flavonols, terpenoids, phthalides

White Fruits & Vegetables are Rich in These Phytonutrients

  • Flavonols, allicin, quercetin, sulfides

Purple/Blue Fruits & Vegetables are Rich in These Phytonutrients

  • Anthocyanins, resveratrol, hydroxycinnamic acids

NutriFusion® Delivers Stabilized Phytonutrients

We all know that food processing causes a lot of challenges for manufacturers. Delivering natural nutrition through the process is very difficult. So, we developed NutriFusion® to help packaged and processed food manufacturers deliver whole fruit & vegetable nutrition through processing to the end product. Our patent pending method stabilizes the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from fruits & vegetables through the entire food processing system. We have a variety of special blends called GrandFusion® that deliver on the different colors mentioned above. We can also create custom blends to meet your specific needs. Our ingredients come from non-GMO, organic produce. Click the button below to learn more about the science and research behind NutriFusion® .