By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
New research indicates the average Australian only eats half the amounts of fruit and vegetables that are required for good health*. A team of nutrition and medical experts appointed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC ) reviewed over 55,000 scientific journal articles. One of the major key recommendations of the new guidelines are that most Australians will need to increase their intake of vegetables and fruit.**
It is estimated that poor nutrition is implicated in 56% of all deaths in Australia*. Disease due to poor nutrition in Australia is said to be associated with the excess intake of energy dense & nutrient poor foods such as saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugars combined with the inadequate intake of fruit, vegetables and whole grains**.
Australian research also indicates that consuming the recommended 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day will sufficiently reduce the incidence of coronary disease, some cancers, obesity, constipation, blood pressure & cholesterol levels and improve the control of diabetes**
Also a new study in Western Australia found that the brassica vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli) were associated with a decreased risk of cancer in the proximal colon. A lower risk of distal colon cancer was associated with eating more fruit and vegetables particularly a high intake of dark yellow vegetables and apples***
Another Australian study found positive associations between children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and parental fruit and vegetable intake, availability, and accessibility in the home. Early childhood is a critical developmental time for lifelong food habits. This study shows the importance of healthy eating in the home and how it can impact your children’s health for the rest of their life in the avoidance of chronic disease**** This subject is very close to my heart, I have a 18month old girl named Grace who in the past has been refusing her vegetables, this might stress me more than the average person because a list of nutrients that she is not having starts swinging around in my head. Believe it or not I discovered while drinking a juice I had made myself, she then wanted some too so she loves sipping fresh vegetable and fruit juices with me. This gave me assurance that she is still getting her vegetable and fruit nutrients. A time after this she then resumed her vegetable intake but still wants to sip my juices with me ☺
Eating the suggested amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is difficult for many people. Reboot Nutritionist, Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN comments that, “Juicing fresh vegetables and fruits offers a unique opportunity to greatly increase the number of serves of vegetables consumed in a day in a delicious and easy to digest form. In just one cup of juice it is possible to drink 4 or more serves of vegetables/fruits.”
Juicing or doing a Reboot is a convenient and delicious way to make sure you consume these wonderful phytonutrients and enzymes to prevent the lists of chronic diseases as suggested above. Juicing removes the insoluble fibre but the soluble fibre still remains. Although insoluble fibre has been established to be an important part of a healthy well-balanced diet, removing it allows for the increased absorption of nutrients. By also including whole fruits and vegetables with the inclusion of a fresh raw vegetable and fruit juice you are assured you will easily reach the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Juicing is a beneficial ADDITION for everyone in the family including children. This can be a fun way to include vegetables for a child who is resisting eating them and for any adults who do not like vegetables or even certain ones that can be easily masked with other fruits and vegetables that dominate the flavor in juice.
By including fresh juices you are also ensuring all the nutrients that are destroyed by cooking methods are retained. This is an added bonus to the benefits of juicing. Consuming raw vegetables has been shown to be very beneficial for maximum nutrient content.
So after all this I hope very much it will inspire you to eat lots of coloured fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. You will surely feel the positive benefits to your energy levels, complexion, clear thoughts, immune function and for the long-term, the prevention of so many chronic, debilitating and even deadly diseases.
*** Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Risk of Proximal Colon, Distal Colon, and Rectal Cancers in a Case-Control Study in Western Australia NEELTJE ANNEMA, MSc; JANE S. HEYWORTH, PhD; SARAH A. MCNAUGHTON, PhD; BARRY IACOPETTA, PhD; LIN FRITSCHI, PhD Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION, Oct 2011
**** Associations between characteristics of the home food environment and fruit and vegetable intake in preschool children: A cross-sectional study BMC Public Health 2011, 11:938