Nutrition

Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day, it doesn’t matter which ones

A large study assesses the consumption of phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables in 13 regions of the world. More than the regions, it is above all the fact of eating fruits and vegetables that determines the level of phytonutrient intake.

Phytonutrients, of which there are several thousand compounds, are not essential to life, but could contribute to improving it, by reducing the risk of disease. Colored pigments, natural antiparasitics,… some of these bioactive compounds could also integrate nutritional recommendations in the future. Hence the importance of being able to monitor and quantify their presence in our diets.

We eat more fruits and vegetables in the Mediterranean basin

This is what has just been done by American researchers, who have evaluated, in 13 regions of the world, the intake of a selection of nine phytonutrients: 4 phenolic compounds and 5 carotenoids (anthocyanidins, hesperetin, quercetin, ellagic acid , alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene).

It is not surprising to see, for example, that the intake of fruit and vegetables, like that of phytonutrients, is higher in regions such as the Mediterranean basin than in northern Europe. But what stands out above all is that ultimately, it is above all the quantity of plants consumed that determines the level of phytonutrients, more than the region and its degree of sunshine. Thus, people who reach 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day ingest between 2 and 6 times more phytonutrients than those who consume less than 5 per day.

The statement according to which the plants of a region (like ours, for example) do not make it possible to benefit from the same protective effects of plants as in the Mediterranean basin is therefore not validated by this study, which only supports still the goal of reaching “five a day”.

Source

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Murphy MMGglobal assessment of select phytonutrient intakes by level of fruit and vegetable consumption. British Journal of Nutrition 11/08/2014, pp 1-15.

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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