Eat different fruits, veggies to increase phytonutrient intake

April 27th, 2010 - 4:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 27 (ANI): Choosing different fruits and vegetables may increase phytonutrient intake, thereby lowering the risk of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes, suggests a new American research.

The study, supported by the Nutrilite Health Institute, found that despite the availability of a wide range of foods that contain phytonutrients, people get phytonutrients from a relatively small number of specific foods, which are not necessarily the most concentrated sources.

Top food contributors for several key phytonutrient families in the diet include oranges, orange juice, carrots, grapes, garlic, tomatoes, strawberries, prepared mustard, tea and various soy products, according to the study.

According to Keith Randolph, Technology Strategist for Nutrilite, “blueberries actually contain higher amounts of this phytonutrient” than grapes.

“Research suggests anthocyanidins support heart health,” he added.

Phytonutrients are compounds that naturally occur in plants and provide a range of potential health benefits from promoting eye, bone and heart health to supporting immune and brain function.

It’s widely believed that the health benefits that phytonutrients may offer come from the pigments in fruits and vegetables that give these foods their vibrant reds, yellows, greens and other rich colors.

Certain fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of these compounds, making them more concentrated and potentially more effective sources of phytonutrients.

The two groups analysed in the study include adults who eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, as compared to adults who fail to meet US government guidelines on fruit and vegetable consumption based on two days of intake.

Findings suggested that for most phytonutrients, there is little difference in the relative contributions of phytonutrients by food source between groups, although those who meet the recommended five to 13 servings per day were shown to consume greater quantities of certain phytonutrient-rich foods.

Randolph said the study’s findings “highlight the importance of not only the quantity, but also the significant impact the quality and variety of the fruits and vegetables you eat can have on your health.”

The study was presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting, April 25, in Anaheim, California. (ANI)

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