Everybody says you can’t beat fresh veg but I’ve often wondered how they know? It is pretty common for somewhat dubious claims to be made about our food and I can understand why people get confused and in the end switch off; we all become a bit cynical right? I know I sit at home on FB and moan about the claims made by our competitors and how dubious they are. So I decided to do some research….
I focused on finding out more about getting the best from your veg. We have all heard of the 5-a-day rule but what’s the evidence to support this. It sounds right, but can we prove it.
I quickly found this report from Harvard Medical School that has reviewed may different investigations into veg and its health benefits. I’ll let you read the report – it is well written for non-scientists like me – and draw your own conclusions but I’ve summed the main points below as the relate to us and our business.
The main conclusions of the report are:
- Fruit & Veg are an important part of a healthy diet
- Variety is as important as quantity.
The last one made me smile – can’t live off chips then…In fact potatoes are not recommended that much.
Well that summary is a bit bland but what’s the real point here? Well fruit & veg are healthy…ok we know that, but why?
I’ll summarise the main points then:
We are talking heart attacks and strokes everybody. The evidence is:
- 8 a day (not 5…) = 30% REDUCTION in likelihood of heart attack or stroke
- Green Leafy veg, brassicas and citrus make big contributions to this
High blood pressure is common these days. I did not realise this impact of fruit & veg :
- Diets that reduced sat fats and total fats by using more fruit & veg REDUCED BLOOD PRESSURE readings by 11mmHg systolic and 6mmHg diastolic. To put that in perspective, that is about as much as medication can achieve
- This effect was enhanced if some of the carbohydrate was replaced by healthy unsaturated fat or protein.
- Vegetarian diets are associated with lower blood pressure
Ok, here is a biggy:
- There is, in general, NO EVIDENCE to support the view that fruit & veg provide protection against cancer
- Some evidence to show some protection from mouth, esophagus, stomach cancers by non-starchy veg.
This I did not know…..:
- WHOLE FRUITS, especially apples, grapes and blueberries, are associated with lower risk of Type II
- Greater consumption of FRUIT JUICES are associated with increased risk of TYPE II
There were also some minor impacts on the health of your gut that you can read. I think we can understand how fibre helps….
It also seems there is some evidence to show that cataracts and other vision defects can be prevented by eating more fruit & veg.
So where does that leave us?
Well it seems that there is plenty of evidence to support eating plenty of veg/fruit. I know I would say that as that’s what we sell but really the evidence from this report makes any other conclusion wrong.
The big difference here is that it has been quantified. No wishy washy statements about being good for you. A 30% reduction in risk of CVD is not to be ignored.