Nutrition has a big impact on our health!

We have been hearing this and it has been confirmed over and over again during the last few decades.

"Eat yourself healthy!" Says a brochure from the World Cancer Research Fund.

"Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" was the theme of the National Nutrition Month 2015

MedlinePlus writes the following: "Health Tip: Eat More Fruits and Veggies"
" You should fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal, experts say."
(Ref. HealthDay 2012-09-24)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says:
"Researchers think blueberries and strawberries may be good for the heart." They further write "The berries have flavonoids, which can help to counter changes in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks. At the University of East Anglia in England, Aedin Cassidy says other fruits and vegetables also have flavonoids:
'If you add more red and blue colored fruits and vegetables to your normal diet, you can reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Start incorporating these berries into your weekly shop.'"
(Ref: 2013-02-13 HHS HealthBeat)

 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, writes January 2013:
"Vegetarians are one-third less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease than meat and fish eaters, according to a new UK study."
Francesca Crowe, who led the new study at the University of Oxford told Reuters Health:
"If people want to reduce their risk of heart disease by changing their diet, one way of doing that is to follow a vegetarian diet,"
(Ref: 2013-01-30 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online.)

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Amy Valderrama tells us the facts about our genes: "You can’t improve your health by going back in time and switching to a different set of parents, so whatever risk of heart disease and stroke is in your genes will have to stay there." And she continues with good news that there’s a lot we can change:
“Things you can change would be high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, eating a diet high in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium, being physically inactive, and being overweight or obese.”
(Ref: 2013-01-04 HHS HealthBeat)

"Up to 2.7 Million lives could be saved annually through more consumption of fruit and vegetables."
This was announced in August 2003 by WHO, the world's largest health organization. For years, international health organizations have been promoting the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables. You may have seen ads in magazines, newspapers, supermarkets, hospitals, etc. saying 5 a day or 5-9 a day. A big campaign telling us to eat 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies every day, was started by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the early 1990's and followed by different international health organizations in various countries.

This urgent topic has long been an interest of the media. For example, the well known German magazine -der Stern- wrote in the 18th edition 1994 about this important issue: Vegetables against cancer: Researchers always find new substances in broccoli, tomatoes, as well as cabbage, carrots and onions which act as body guards. Most of the substances in fruits and vegetables can slow down the formation of malignant (cancerous) tumors, so says Professor Claus Leitzmann in this article. We have long known the tumor reducing effects associated with a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, he explains.
(translated from the 18th issue 1994 German magazine der Stern).

Researchers say middle-age and older women who eat foods with a variety of vitamins and minerals are less likely to develop cataracts. Julie Mares of the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at data on about 1,800 women ages 55 to 86 who reported what they ate and years later had eye photos taken:
"Diet was the most important thing that we measured to lower risk. Diet is something that we can do to lower our risk."

(Ref: HealthBeat from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sept. 2010)

The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) is asking: "How Healthy Is Your Diet?"
The experts here say: "You can start lowering your cancer risk at your very next meal. Experts recommend that our diets revolve around plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.
These foods tend to be low in calorie density. That means they provide fewer calories but because they’re full of fiber and water – they help to keep us feeling fuller for a longer time.
They also provide a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, as well as several phytochemicals– naturally occurring compounds in plants that have potentially health promoting effects."

The American Institute of Cancer Research is known to do continuous research in the field of cancer prevention and has published numerous publications on this very important topic. Their recommendation includes:
"Choose mostly plant food, limit red meat and avoid processed meat."

ScienceDaily (May 30, 2012) — Women in their seventies who exercise and eat healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables have a longer life expectancy, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"Eating ample quantities of phytochemical-rich plant foods may help to prevent as many as one
in every five cases of cancer, as well as other serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes."
(Ref: A closer look at phytochemicals- brochure AICR January 2008)

A 28 page brochure was published in 1999 by the World Cancer Research Fund together with the Deutsche Institute fur Ernährungsforschung (German Institute of Nutrition Research) which said that in 1981 the well known Doll and Peto Study showed that about 35 percent of all deaths due to cancer are directly linked to poor nutrition. For some cancers the percentile is significantly higher.
(Ref: World Cancer Research Fund)

The Harvard school of public health stated in their Nutrition Source in January 2009:
Vegetables and fruits are clearly an important part of a good diet. Almost everyone can benefit from eating more of them, but variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. The key lies in the variety of different vegetables and fruits that you eat.
The same source says: "Eat your fruits and vegetables" is one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. And for good reason. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss.

ScienceDaily posted an article on May 18, 2007:
"Eat Your Broccoli: Study Finds Strong Anti-Cancer Properties In Cruciferous Veggies"
It says:" Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have found that sulforaphane – a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and brussels sprouts – has strong anti-cancer properties." was writing in spring 2006: The foods you eat matter.
They say a recent comprehensive review of hundreds of studies of nutrition and cancer indicated that an immune supportive, anticancer diet would include 10 or more servings of vegetables and 4 or more servings of fruit a day. 

So what is it with these findings and what exactly are these vital benefits in fruits and vegetables? Fruit and veggies contain substances like Phyto-chemicals (natural chemicals found in plants), micro-nutrients, including vitamins, trace minerals and enzymes.

These substances and how they work together (synergy) are very important scientific findings in recent years that proof the benefits of fruits and vegetables for our overall health.

Phyto-chemicals -there are more than 30.000 of them that we know of up to now-
are anti-oxidants and have a significant role in the prevention of disease.

Fruits and veggies also contain a large variety of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are all important anti-oxidants. And there is Ginger which may also help destroy cancer cells and block cancer-related inflammation.

Anti-oxidants are vital for our health. They protect our cells, neutralize the free radicals and destroy them.

We need a variety of fruits and veggies. It is the synergy of all the different nutrients in fruit and vegetables which benefit our health. It is not the measured amount of an isolated vitamin that plays the most important role. For example: Research has shown there is about 5.7mg of vitamin C in one half of an apple. But with all the other nutritional components of the apple, the effect of these 5.7 mg vitamin C is more effective than 1500 mg isolated vitamin C.
(Ref: Eberhardt MV et al, Nature 2000)

Good nutrition is vital for our health. And the more veggies we eat on a daily basis, the better it is.
Did you know that June is now National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month in the US?

So, go for more fruits and veggies, follow the dietary guidelines. If you are eating consistently a variety of 5-9 servings (one serving= one hand full or 8 fl. oz.) of fruits and veggies on a daily basis, then you are doing very well. Congratulations!

For those of us who cannot be consistent there is a good way to add these nutrients to our diet. My family is getting additional vital micro-nutrients on a daily basis. I am excited about this and encourage you to check the nutrition link on my links +plus page.

So, if we want to increase the body's defenses, we have to act on it.
Not just once in a while but consistently. We know now that a plant-based diet can help to optimize our health and the health benefit of these vital nutrients can no longer be ignored.

To your health!

Last update in January 2016.


© 2006-2016 Walburga Ratti