Millennials Leading the Way for More Vegetable Consumption

Millennials are making their impact on society. When it comes to vegetable consumption, they are setting the trend to eat healthily. In the recent study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, they have found out that millennials prefer to eat more fruits and vegetables over meats and grains. The study analyzed food buying data per generation. Millennials, who are born between 1981 and mid-2000s, are the largest and most diverse generation. They have the highest purchasing behavior, which is why they influence the consumer and retail landscape. Many companies are designing their products with millennials in mind.

More Millennials Are Eating More Fresh Produce

According to the report, the consumption of fresh produce in the country grew at 1.3% between the years 2011 and 2016. It is also expected that the annual gains will continue to rise through 2021 and probably the years beyond. What influenced this trend is that the eating habits of different generations have evolved. The changes are altering the recommendations on what makes up a healthy diet. The current nutritional guideline dictates that people should dedicate half of their plate to fruits and vegetables. They should also include whole grains, dairy, and protein for each meal.

The Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help protect the body against different diseases – particularly the chronic ones. These include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and some types of cancer. Moreover, fruits and vegetables are also jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that can help improve the physiological functions and capacity of people when it comes to fighting off different kinds of diseases.

How to Encourage More People to Eat Their Veggies?

The results of the study indicate that people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. But aside from increasing awareness, the trend can be further improved if more people have access to fresh produce. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to convince people to consume more fruits and vegetables is to make them available in places where adults and children live, work, and learn.

The Role of the Agricultural Industry

Another solution is to develop products that are more exciting and fun to eat. For instance, the company Syngenta is currently developing ultra-firm watermelons called CrispFresh watermelons. This innovative variety does not only taste great, but it also makes the processing and shelf-life longer.  And since the watermelon is crisp, it is now possible to make watermelon fries with it. The agricultural sector plays a vital role in innovating crops not only to produce higher yields but also to ensure that the product will last longer so that people who live in food deserts can access them at a lower price.

Future Direction

With the influential role of millennials, coupled with the dedication of the agricultural sector to increase their yield, it is likely that the trend will increase in the years to follow. This can eventually create a paradigm shift wherein people will consume more fruits and vegetables. By doing so, it also helps the economy as it reduces the cost of the government to fund for the provision of healthcare services on lifestyle diseases.

Packaged food brands are also taking another approach to help consumers get the natural benefits of fruits and vegetables in everyday products. They are using GrandFusion fruit and vegetable powders to enrich their bars, protein powders, and more with the natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. Download the R&D kit below to learn more!

Inspired by

nutrifusion download R&D resource kit

The Healthy Vegetables You Need in Your Diet

Vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber so they present a lot of health benefits to the body.  There are so many vegetables that you can consume but this article will list the most healthy vegetables that you can include as part of your balanced diet.


Spinach is a green leafy vegetable and is known to be rich in iron. But aside from iron, it is also rich in calcium and antioxidants. A cup of spinach only contains 7 calories, but it can provide an average adult’s daily requirement for Vitamin K. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin A, C, magnesium, and folate. Vitamin K, in particular, is essential for stronger bones and it improves the absorption of calcium. You can enjoy spinach in salads, soups, and smoothies.


Kale belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables. A cup of kale contains 7 calories and high amounts of Vitamin C, A, and K. It can also benefit people who suffer from high cholesterol. One study shows that consumption of 150mL of kale smoothie can result in a 10% reduction of bad cholesterol.  It can also help stabilize blood pressure and sugar levels.


Broccoli is a relative to cabbage and kale. A bowl of broccoli only contains 55 calories, but it provides your full daily requirement for Vitamin K. It also contains twice the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C for healthier immune system function. Broccoli is also considered as a superfood and it can reduce the risk of developing cancer due to the compounds sulforaphane. Animal studies noted that this compound can reduce the size as well as a number of breast cancer cells in the body.


Peas are starchy vegetables belonging to the legume family. Once cooked, a cup of peas only contains 134 calories. They also contain a high amount of fiber and protein as well as Vitamins A, C, and K. Moreover, it also contains certain B vitamins. Because they contain high amounts of protein, they are used as substitutes for meat. They also contain high amounts of saponins, which is a known antioxidant. Pea based protein is an important ingredient for many new vegan dishes as well as plant-based milk.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that contain 103 calories per cup.  Each potato contains Vitamin A, C, and B6. It is also rich in beta-carotene that can improve eye health and antioxidants to fight off against cancer. This root vegetable is also good for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index.


Beets contain high amounts of antioxidants due to its color. It also contains high amounts of potassium and folate. It is also high in heart-healthy nitrates thus it has heart-protective functions.  Beets are best served in salads or in smoothies.


Carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene. A cup of carrots only contain 52 calories, but regular consumption may help maintain good eyesight. Carrots also contain high amounts of antioxidants that can fight off cancer. Reports show that carrot juice can inhibit the growth of leukemia cancer cells.


Tomatoes are technically fruits, but they are still considered vegetables.  They are rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Moreover, they also contain lycopene – powerful antioxidants that also play a vital role in cancer prevention. Tomatoes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin for good eyesight.

Other Healthy Vegetables

There are so many vegetables that are beneficial for your health. Make sure that you include garlic, onions, alfalfa sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower, and seaweed in your diet. You can also consume fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi as they contain beneficial microorganisms for better gut health.

Inspired by

nutrifusion download R&D resource kit

New Research Shows Vegetables May Have Preventative Properties for Colon Cancer

In a study reported by Immunity, research showed that mice fed with lots of vegetables belonging to the Brassica genus had lower gut inflammations and benefitted from colon cancer protection. Researchers believe that the substance indole-3-carbinol (I3C) offered these benefits to the gut.

It is a widely accepted truth that veggies offer a lot of positive health benefits. However, the real mechanism behind how they provide health benefits is still not well-understood. This is the first study to establish evidence on the specifics of vegetable substances that prevent colon cancer and inflammation. It showed that I3C activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a protein that causes epithelial cell differentiation when not stimulated sufficiently.

Reactions in the Gut

The AhR protein essentially works by dispatching signals from the gut linings’ epithelial cells to the immune cells. This then regulates the inflammatory response to the massive amounts of bacteria living in our stomach.

According to one of the research authors, Dr. Amina Metidji, mice who cannot activate or produce AhR in their stomach led to gut inflammation development and consequently led to cancer of the colon. These mice were genetically modified so that they cannot produce AhR. On the other hand, when these mice were fed with vegetables rich in IC3, they did not acquire gut inflammation nor colon cancer. Further, resulting tumors in the gut were few and were non-cancerous.

Moreover, when applied to stem cells that differentiated to mini-guts, the absence of AhR led to the failure of the stem cells to become specialized epithelial cells. These epithelial cells are essential for generating protective mucus and absorb nutrients. The stem cells divided uncontrollably—a precursor to cancer of the colon.

Colon Cancer Prevention

According to Dr. Gitta Stockinger, another author of the study, the effect of diet on colon cancer and gut inflammation is quite salient. We used to believe that a diet deficient in vegetables coupled with rich fats promote colon cancer. However, with the study, increased consumption of AhR promoting chemicals can mitigate the effects of insufficient AhR stimulation thereby preventing colon cancer and intestinal infections.

Although we cannot alter the genetic factors that intensify our risk for having cancer, the study shows a light at the end of the tunnel that we can moderate our colon cancer risk by embracing a diet rich in I3C found in vegetables.


The Optimal Diet

In the study, the mice were fed food that was calibrated to eliminate variables that may affect the study. This resulted in findings that suggest that even without genetic risk factors in mice if they are not fed vegetables, it still led to cancer of the colon for them.

Another cancer research expert, Professor Tim Key, commented that it isn’t just the fiber content of veggies that impart health benefits, but likewise, essential veggie substances that give protection against diseases—specifically in this study, against colon inflammation and cancer. So, eat more of Bok choy, Kale, Collards, turnip greens, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and the likes.

Inspired by

The Mighty Cauliflower Is Not Just Hype

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Time Magazine declared in 2017 that the lowly cauliflower is the new “it” vegetable while Bloomberg dubbed is as “the new kale.” Although these declarations should have encouraged people to eat more of this vegetable, its sales remained flat for a few months. In fact, Nielsen Perishables reported that while the sales of cauliflower grew to 8% annually from 2011 to 2016, it remained flat ever since.

How the Cauliflower Debuted As the “It” Veggie

Although people have been intrigued about cauliflower for a few years, it was only now that it was presented under the limelight. It was the Cauliplower’s 2017 debut that made this vegetable famous. It was during the expo when consumers were first introduced to the first gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust. To date, nearly 9,000 stores distribute this product that led to the creation of a new baking mix by the company. This also sparked the trend which resulted in the market seeing products like cauliflower chips and cauliflower pretzels. Gone are the days when the only cauliflower product available at Trader Joe’s is cauliflower rice.

What makes the vegetable trendy is that it is healthy, full of fiber and low in carbohydrate content, which makes it a very logical alternative to grains especially among people who cannot eat grains. Grains have been blamed for digestive issues which are pushing the gluten-free trend. This vegetable also fits well with the growing vegan and plant-based movement. In a report released by GlobalData, there was an increase of 600% of people who opt for the vegan lifestyle in the U.S.

High Demand, Low Production


There is an increased consumption of fresh cauliflower according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. The per capita consumption of cauliflower is estimated to 2.18 pounds in 2017 that is 38% higher from the 1.57 pounds in 2016 and 1.33 pounds in 2010.

Despite the increased consumption per capita of cauliflower, there is still a limited supply of cauliflower to meet the growing demands of the consumer. This is expected to drive the prices of the vegetable higher. But will this make a price war in the market? Not entirely as the agriculture sector is working hard to meet the growing demands of this wonder veggie.

On the other hand, cauliflower contains a minimal amount of starch, which makes formulation challenging to create new products without using specialized equipment. For instance, cauliflower pretzels and crackers need special tools to develop the new products according to Ground Up COO Vincent James–maker of cauliflower crackers and pretzels.

The lowly cauliflower has emerged into a superfood, and it has come a long way since it debuted in the expo. If food manufacturers can continue to create more opportunities to develop cauliflower-based products despite the challenges such as the high price and low demand, then this vegetable will have a long way to go before it reaches its full potential.

Inspired by

Vegetables Can Improve The Nutrition Content Of Kid’s Juices

Fruit juices are perceived as healthy beverages, but the media has reported that many smoothies and kid’s juices contain higher amounts of sugar than carbonated drinks like soda. Sugar is now well researched as the culprit to different metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. The fruit juice market has been hit hard by the negative aspects of sugar with a decline in sales over the past few years.  Juice producers have a new opportunity to bring back the healthy image that they present to their customers by adding more vegetables to their juices in turn lowering the sugar and calorie content.

The Trend Of Juicing Vegetables

In recent years, many consumers have developed an interest for vegetable juices for health reasons. With public campaigns encouraging people to consume more vegetables daily and more celebrity chefs preparing vegetable recipes, consumption of vegetables have been glamorized.

The vegetable trend has led to the rise of different diet movements like flexitarians (semi-vegetarians), vegetarians, and vegans. It has also opened many opportunities for restaurants and the food industry to provide products that meet these new needs of consumers. We are starting to see products like vegetable spiralizers, cold-pressed juicers, and ready-made vegetable juices on market shelves.

Brands Have Joined In The Vegetable Bandwagon

Multiple brands have acceded to the bandwagon of incorporating vegetables into their fruit juices. One such company is a Japanese corporation, Kagome. The Japanese consumer demands healthy options and new flavors in their fruit juices and what better way to provide it to the customers than putting vegetables into their fruit juices.

Another company that has incorporated vegetables in its juice products is Coldpress Ltd. The fruit juices are not heat-pasteurized to retain the taste and nutrients of the finished product. Sugar is no longer added to their juices as they rely on the natural sweetness of the fruits for the sugar content.

Newer Trends In Fruit Juices

Aside from fruit juices, some trends are being adopted by beverage brands. As vegetables have been incorporated to add more health value to fruit juices, other trends have also sprung to improve the nutritional profile of fruit juices. Below are the new trends that have taken the fruit juice industry by storm.

  • More Superfoods in Juices: The fruit juice industry predicts that there will be a rise in super-fruit juices into 2020. For example, some companies have already added superfood chia seeds to their fruit juice products since 2015. Other superfoods that have been incorporated in fruit juices include Aloe Vera, coconut water, and maple water.
  • Fresher Fruit Juices: While bottled fruit juices have already been sterilized to increase their shelf-life, more fruit juice producers are developing more refreshing fruit juices to provide more nutritional value to their customers. Using cold-pressed juicing is a method that allows juice companies to create fresher and more nutritious juices. Moreover, juice bars have also become popular to provide juices from kitchen to mouth
  • Natural Vitamins in Juices: Companies like NutriFusion are helping beverage and drink brands add real vitamins from whole fruits and vegetables to their products. Since most juices are going through pasteurization, their nutrients are lost in the process. NutriFusion products are stable in heat and allow juice companies to quickly add back plant-based nutrition that is typically lost in processing.

Inspired by