You’ve likely heard a lot about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables ever since you were a child. Children who develop a taste for both take on a healthy habit that can last a long lifetime.
While research in Europe and America has produced mountains of evidence to support fruit and vegetable intake for lower risk of all-cause mortality, this significant benefit has been understudied in Asia, where food environments have undergone great changes for more than a decade. This lack of research in that populous part of the world is changing. And the results are very interesting.
All-Cause Mortality Decrease Associated with Fruit and Vegetable Intake
(The Journal of Nutrition: June 2022)
Over 90,000 women and men aged 40 to 69 participated in a Japan Public Health Center (JPHC)-based prospective study that assessed their intake of fruits and vegetables. Follow-up took place over a period of more than 20 years, during which the documenting of all-cause deaths numbered over 23,687.
Adjustments were made for a number of factors including age and gender before determining that there was a significant association to lower all-cause mortality with fruit and vegetable intake. Furthermore, fruit intake was significantly associated lower cardiovascular mortality.
By noting this decrease in all-cause mortality from a higher intake of fruits and vegetables among the study’s participants, dietary recommendations may be put into place that would enhance life expectancy in Asia.
Lipid Peroxidation Prevention in Adolescents from Increased Vegetable Intake
(International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health:August 2022)
This study focused on a group of young people who are likely to consume ultra-processed foods over fruit and vegetables. The over 350 participants were Japanese girls in junior high and high school. Far less than a third of these adolescents consumed the daily recommended 350 grams or more of vegetables and 200 grams or more of fruit. Actual intakes of most of the young women were far less. Only 5.8 percent were even aware of recommended intakes for vegetables and only 1.9 percent for fruit.
Given the antioxidant activity of vegetable nutrients and phytonutrients to disable free radicals from causing oxidative stress, the girls who consumed higher intakes of vegetables showed an oxidative biomarker decrease, an indicator of diminished oxidative cellular damage to lipids and DNA in the body. The results “also imply the significance that promoting healthy lifestyles should start at early stage of life for the prevention of atherosclerosis.”
Antidepressive Effects of Flavonoid-Rich Fruit Intake
(Translational Psychiatry: September 2022)
A variety of fruits contain polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids, which the JPHC Saku Mental Health study showed evidence of having a preventive effect against depression. The activity that fruit flavonoids produce include an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels along with the suppression of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. Fruit-specific examples include eating apples, citruses and pears was associated with a lower risk of depression, analyzed from data accumulated from 1,204 participants in the study.
These three studies are just a sampling of the research being conducted in Japan. Similar studies are happening in other Asian countries, including Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Such findings reflect a worldwide acknowledgement that whole, plant-based foods are vital for the health of people of all ages all around the world.
The first avenue in AIM’s Healthy Cell Concept has always been wholesome food that takes you down the road to good health. Supplementing with the AIM products enhances this dietary intake with nutritionally dense whole-food powders and dietary supplements. You can access the Healthy Cell Concept on the AIM website by logging in and going to the Download Center.
4 thoughts on “Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition”
Always thought fruit was full of sugar which is not supposed to be good for you
Fruit is an important part of a balanced diet. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommend that people with diabetes include fruits as part of a balanced diet.
Eating fruits and vegetables may put a person at lower risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Fruit is also an important source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
However, fruit can also be high in sugar. People with diabetes must keep a watchful eye on their sugar intake to avoid blood sugar spikes. That said, there is a difference between the type of sugar in fruit and the type of sugar in other foods, such as chocolate and baked goods. Some research shows, for example, that eating fruit may actually help prevent diabetes.
Isn’t sugar stored as fat In the body—too much is obviously not good (as with any kind of food) and what is the connection with the kidneys?-does the bacteria in the gut able to differentiate different sugars?
Even though fruit is known for its flavorful sweetness, there is a huge difference between the impact of its natural source of sugar on our bodies compared to the added sugar in ultra-processed foods and beverages. Fruit is a whole food that contains an abundance of nutrients and phytonutrients along with its natural fructose that sweetens the taste of this healthy source of nutrition. Even those who battle with blood sugar issues can benefit from having a selection of fruit in their diets. So, a lot of the myths about the sugar in fruit being unhealthy have simply misled many into limiting their intake one of nature’s finest food sources.