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New research suggests choosing different fruits and vegetables may increase phytonutrient intake
Date:4/26/2010

The two groups analyzed in the study include adults who eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, as compared to adults who fail to meet U.S. 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. One key finding of the study concluded that, on average, Americans who consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables generally get two to three times more phytonutrients in their diet as compared to people who do not meet fruit and vegetable recommendations. This was true for all but two of the phytonutrients studied. Of note, these data relate to the findings of a previous study conducted by the Nutrilite Health Institute America's Phytonutrient Report: Quantifying the Gap that found eight in 10 Americans have a "phytonutrient gap," meaning they are missing out on health benefits provided by phytonutrients given their lack of fruit and vegetable intake.

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For 10 of the 14 phytonutrients included in the analysis, a single food type accounted for approximately two-thirds or more of an individual's intake of the specific phytonutrient, regardless of whether that person was a high or low fruit and vegetable consumer. Based on the current study, the top food sources consumed by Americans for some selected phytonutrients were as follows:

  • Beta-carotene carrots
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin oranges/orange juice
  • Lutein/zeaxanthin spinach
  • Ellagic acid strawberries
  • Isothiocyanates mustard

For each of these phytonutrients, however, there is a more highly concentrated food that could be chosen instead:

  • Beta-carotene sweet potatoes


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  • Contact: Lisa Winternitz
    lwinternitz@webershandwick.com
    312-988-2146
    Weber Shandwick Worldwide
    Source:Eurekalert

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