Fruit & Vegetables

Phytonutrient essentially means plant nutrient.


While taking supplemental vitamins and minerals has a place, and at times can be useful, they can never take the place of eating fruit, vegetables and other plant foods. There are many substances found in fruit and vegetables that have not yet been isolated and produced in supplemental form. One type of these substances is known as phytonutrients. They are involved in many processes in our bodies some of which include:

  • Functioning as an antioxidant
  • Increasing the production of our detoxification enzymes
  • Stimulating and strengthening the immune system
  • Have a positive effect on hormones
  • Have antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Slows the aging of the brain
  • Assists with maintaining healthy vision

Phytonutrients have been found to have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of the big four. That is cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. This is not surprising when the role they play in our bodies includes helping to prevent cell damage, preventing cancer cell replication and decreasing cholesterol levels.

Phytonutrients are often found in and close to the skins of fruit and vegetables. For this reason it is beneficial to use the skins as often as practicable. If you do peel the skin, peel it as thinly as possible to retain the most benefit.

There is still much that is unknown and while it is estimated that there could be as many as 30,000 – 50,000 phytonutrients, only about 1,000 have as yet been isolated. Of these only 100 have been tested and analysed. From what has been discovered so far we can be assured that just because a substance has not been isolated, tested and analysed does not mean that it is useless. Rather, it is reasonable to assume that those other special nutrients that have not yet been isolated will have some amazing and beneficial functions for us.

It is from these phytonutrients that the fruit and vegetables get their color, scent and flavour. Bearing in mind that there is not just one phytonutrient, but that each fruit and vegetable have their own particular ones, it makes sense to include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in our diets. Also, try to include many different colors to ensure a greater diversity of these special nutrients.

The best way to have these phytonutrients benefit our health is to find more ways of eating a wider variety of plant foods. New recipes and methods of cooking them can give you and your family a new perspective on enjoying fruit and vegetables. Build your health as you include more fruit, vegetables and other plant foods in your diet.

This content is provided by Jocelyn Hodgson. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For information on how to find out more about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to include them in your daily diet, please visit

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MLA Style Citation:
Hodgson, Jocelyn “Phytonutrients From Fruit and Vegetables.” Phytonutrients From Fruit and Vegetables. 20 Jun. 2009. 25 Jun 2009 <>.

7 Health Benefits of Eating Phytonutrient Rich Apples – Protect Heart, Cells, Lungs, Brain and Bones
By []Jocelyn Hodgson

applesApples are one of the staple fruits. That is they are nearly always available, and we don’t usually consider them exotic in the same way we might say a mango or a lychee. Apples are a unique fruit. The combination of the particular nutrients found in apples work together producing something that cannot be replicated.

Apples have a very high level of phytonutrients which act as antioxidants. Because these are mostly found in the skin, or close to the skin it is important to find ways of eating the skin of the apple. The fibre in apples is both soluble, pectin, and insoluble, cellulose. As well as vitamins and minerals apples contain flavonoids, which are a type of phytonutrient.

One of the flavonoids in apples is quercetin. Quercetin has had a fair amount of research done on it, the results of which show that it has very important health benefits. Researchers in Finland did long term studies on this and found that quercetin, particularly as found in apples, is the flavonoid with the best potential health promoting capabilities.

Here are seven areas of health where apples have been found to be useful.

Heart Health

  • Protection of the cardiovascular system due to the antioxidant factors in apples.
  • Dietary fibre helps to keep LDL cholesterol levels in check. Eating two apples a day may lower cholesterol by as much as 16%.
  • Flavonoids help to deal with inflammation and clumping of blood platelets. They also regulate blood pressure and production of fat in the liver. They help to lower the risk of heart disease and even after heart disease has occurred, can help to improve the health of the heart.


Studies to date have shown that apples could reduce the risk of lung cancer. Other types of cancer that apples have the potential to help to protect against include prostate, breast and colon. There is still ongoing research that is being done on these topics, but the possibility of apples being protective against cancer is very interesting.

Asthma and Lung Health

Apples could have an ability to support lung health. Asthmatic children who drank apple juice each day had less wheezing than those who only drank it once a month.

Alzheimer’s Disease

That apples may protect brain cells from the damage that leads to Alzheimer’s disease has been shown in a study on mice.

Management of Diabetes

The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which reduces the need for insulin. Eating an apple in between meals can help to regulate blood sugar.

Weight Loss

A study in Brazil found that more weight loss was obtained from dieters when they ate three apples or pears each day than those dieters that did not eat the fruit.

Protection of Bones

Another flavonoid in apples called phloridzin may help increase bone density thus protecting post menopausal women from osteoporosis. Boron, a mineral found in apples is known for its bone strengthening ability.

There are many different types of apples and they all have differing amounts of various nutrients. Try using many different varieties of apples. As well as increasing apple consumption, it might give a wider cross section of the different amazing nutrients that are found in apples.

This content is provided by Jocelyn Hodgson. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For information on how to find out more about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to include them in your daily diet, please visit

Article Source:—Protect-Heart,-Cells,-Lungs,-Brain-and-Bones&id=2507362

Advertising campaigns, similar to the 5 a day promotion, are held all over the world to educate people about eating fruit and vegetables.

In Lyon, France, their yearly campaign starts at the beginning of the fresh produce production season. Stands, run by local farmers give out free produce, leaflets, information and advice on how to select and use fresh fruit and vegetables.

Before these more recent campaigns, the encouragement was for people to try to eat 10 each day in the hope that they might get 5. When that clearly wasn’t working, the motto became 5 a day in the hopes that people might at least eat a couple.

The US National Cancer Institute is now saying that men should have a minimum of 9 serves a day, women need at least 7 serves and 5 are adequate for children. Now this is way above the amount that the average person in most western countries eats.

Given the results of a study started in 1937, in England and Scotland, and with a 60 year follow up of participants, the recommendation to eat the higher amount of fruit and vegetables is probably necessary.

The conclusion of this study was that eating fruit and vegetables in childhood could well have a protective effect against cancer into adulthood.  In other words if children eat more fruit and vegetables they have less chance of having cancer later in life.

That is not to say that we can stop eating fruit and vegetables when we stop being children. Rather it says that it really cannot wait until we are adults.

If the thought of having less chance of getting cancer is not enough motivation, see if any of these reasons could be a motivating force for you.

  • Help to maintain a healthy weight
  • Help to reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Help to reduce the risk of stroke
  • Helps reduce depression
  • Stimulates the immune system

If you learn how to include health giving fruit and vegetables into your diet in a way that you can enjoy, your chances of being healthier and happier are increased. So go for 5 a day to start with and take up the challenge and see how soon you can be doing 7 or 9.

This content is provided by Jocelyn Hodgson. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For information on how to find out more about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to include them in your daily diet, please visit

Article Source:

APA Style Citation:
Hodgson, J. (2009, June 13). Why 5 a Day and is it Enough?. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from

All over the world people are being encouraged to eat in a healthier manner. In the U.S.A. they have the 5 a day promotion. Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. In Australia they have the 2+5 campaign. That is, eating 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day. No doubt other countries have similar publicity designed to help people make changes to their diets.

People are obviously finding it hard to manage this. A report in 2005 found that only 33 percent of adult Americans ate fruit twice or more each day and only 27 percent ate vegetables three or more times a day. The target that the government is trying to reach by 2010 is to have at least 75 percent of Americans over 2 years old eating at least 2 servings of fruit each day and to have 50 percent of people eating three or more servings of vegetables each day.

Here are 5 breakfast tips to help you get your 5 a day.

1. Have some fruit with your breakfast. Cut up bananas or add berries to your cereal.

2. Make a fruit smoothie for a quick breakfast drink. Try banana, mango berry or peach smoothies.

3. Eat a piece of whole fruit as part of your breakfast. For example an apple or an orange or be exotic and eat a mango when they are available.

4. Add chopped vegetables to scrambled eggs or omelet.

5. I like to gently fry a ripe banana with my breakfast eggs. Even very over ripe bananas are tasty like this.

Starting the day with at least one serve of fruit or vegetables sets you up to reach the 5 a day target. Your health will improve in a whole host of ways if you can make the 5 a day a part of your daily diet.

About the Author

This content is provided by Jocelyn Hodgson. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For information on how to find out more about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to include them in your daily diet, please visit

Hodgson, Jocelyn “5 a Day – Do You Get Yours?.” 5 a Day – Do You Get Yours?. 10 Jun. 2009. 13 Jun 2009 <—Do-You-Get-Yours?&id=2458072>.