Fruits, Nuts And Vegetables:

Most people today are un-aware, of the nutritional value, in todays fruits and vegetables. When nutritionists have looked back sixty to seventy years ago, they found that the nutritional value of that food, was far superior to the food grown today. There are several reasons for the drop in nutritional value. Some of the reasons are listed below:

The Following Is From The Harvard School Of Public Health:

"Eat your fruits and vegetables" is one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet. And for good reason. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, 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.

What does "plenty" mean? More than most Americans consume. If you don't count potatoes - which should be considered a starch rather than a vegetable - the average American gets a total of just three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The latest dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on one's caloric intake. For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day.

Over the past 30 years or so, researchers have developed a solid base of science to back up what generations of mothers preached (but didn't always practice themselves). Early on, fruits and vegetables were acclaimed as cancer-fighting foods. In fact, the ubiquitous 5-A-Day message (now quietly changing to Eat 5 to 9 A Day) seen in produce aisles, magazine ads, and schools is supported in part by the National Cancer Institute. The latest research, though, suggests that the biggest payoff from eating fruits and vegetables is for the heart.

Fruits, Vegetables, And Cardiovascular Disease

There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The largest and longest study to date, done as part of the Harvard-based Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, included almost 110,000 men and women whose health and dietary habits were followed for 14 years. The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.

Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) make important contributions.

Increasing fruit and vegetable intake by as little as one serving per day can have a real impact on heart disease risk. In the two Harvard studies, for every extra serving of fruits and vegetables that participants added to their diets, their risk of heart disease dropped by 4 percent.

Fruits And Vegetables, Blood Pressure, And Cholesterol

High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. As such, It's a condition that is very important to control. Diet can be a very effective tool for lowering blood pressure. One of the most convincing associations between diet and blood pressure was found in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study. This trial examined the effect on blood pressure of a diet that was rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and that restricted the amount of saturated and total fat. The researchers found that people with high blood pressure who followed this diet reduced their systolic blood pressure (the upper number of a blood pressure reading) by about 11 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by almost 6 mm Hg - as much as medications can achieve.

Eating more fruits and vegetables can also help lower cholesterol. In the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, the 4466 subjects consumed on average a shade over 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Men and women with the highest daily consumption (more than 4 servings a day) had significantly lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol than those with lower consumption. How fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol is still something of a mystery. It is possible that eating more fruits and vegetables means eating less meat and dairy products, and thus less cholesterol-boosting saturated fat. Soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables may also block the absorption of cholesterol from food.

Fruits, Vegetables And Cancer

Numerous early studies revealed what appeared to be a strong link between eating fruits and vegetables and protection against cancer. But because many of these were case-control studies, it is possible that the results may have been skewed by problems inherent in these types of studies, such as recall bias and selection bias. Data from cohort studies that follow large groups of initially healthy individuals for years have not consistently shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevents cancer in general. Data from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study support this finding. Over a 14-year period, men and women with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables (8+ servings a day) were just as likely to have developed cancer as those who ate the fewest daily servings (under 1.5).

A more likely possibility is that fruits and vegetables may protect against certain cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, recently completed a monumental review of the best research on fruits, vegetables, and cancer. Here's what this 387-page tome concludes about studies in humans: "There is limited evidence for a cancer-preventive effect of consumption of fruit and of vegetables for cancers of the mouth and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, larynx, lung, ovary (vegetables only), bladder (fruit only), and kidney. There is inadequate evidence for a cancer-preventive effect of consumption of fruit and of vegetables for all other sites." However, considering all evidence from human epidemiological, animal, and other types of studies, it appears that eating more fruit "probably lowers the risk of cancers of the esophagus, stomach and lung" and "possibly reduces the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, colon-rectum, larynx, kidney, and urinary bladder." Eating more vegetables "probably lowers the risk of cancers of the esophagus and colon-rectum" and "possibly reduces the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, stomach, larynx, lung, ovary and kidney."

Keep in mind that this is for total fruit and total vegetable consumption and that, as pointed out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, specific fruits and vegetables may protect against specific types of cancer. For example, a line of research stemming from a finding from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that tomatoes may help protect men against prostate cancer, especially aggressive forms of it. (6-8) One of the pigments that give tomatoes their red hue - lycopene - could be involved in this protective effect. Although several studies other than the Health Professionals' study have also demonstrated a link between tomatoes or lycopene and prostate cancer, others have not or have found only a weak connection. Taken as a whole, however, these studies suggest that increased consumption of tomato-based products (especially cooked tomato products) and other lycopene-containing foods may reduce the occurrence or progression of prostate cancer. But more research is needed before we know the exact relationship between fruits and vegetables, carotenoids, and prostate cancer.

Fruits, Vegetables And Gastrointestinal Health

One of the wonderful components of fruits and vegetables is their indigestible fiber. As fiber passes through the digestive system, it sops up water like a sponge and expands. This can calm the irritable bowel and, by triggering regular bowel movements, can relieve or prevent constipation. The bulking and softening action of insoluble fiber also decrease pressure inside the intestinal tract and so may help prevent diverticulosis (the development of tiny, easily irritated pouches inside the colon) and diverticulitis (the often painful inflammation of these pouches).

Fruits, Vegetables And Vision

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also keeps your eyes in good shape. You may have learned that the vitamin A in carrots aids night vision. Other fruits and vegetables help prevent two common aging-related eye diseases - cataract and macular degeneration - which afflict millions of Americans over age sixty-five. Cataract is the gradual clouding of the eye's lens, a disk of protein that focuses light on the light-sensitive retina. Macular degeneration is caused by cumulative damage to the macula, the center of the retina. It starts as a blurred spot in the center of what you see. As the degeneration spreads, vision shrinks.

Free radicals generated by sunlight, cigarette smoke, air pollution, infection, and metabolism cause much of this damage. Dark green leafy vegetables contain two pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, that accumulate in the eye. These two appear to be able to snuff out free radicals before they can harm the eye's sensitive tissues

In general, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains appears to reduce the chances of developing cataract or macular degeneration.

The Bottom Line: Recommendations For Fruit And Vegetable Intake

Fruits and vegetables 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 fruits and vegetables that you eat.


For Nutritional Information:


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Fruits, Nuts & Vegetable Information: Healthy Eating and Living 101
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Genetically Modified Foods Are Inherently Unsafe For Human Consumption, As Shown Below
Assumption Actual Status Quote
Inserted genes will produce a single protein. Inserted foreign genes might create multiple proteins, with unpredictable consequences. The fact that one gene can give rise to multiple proteins . . . destroys the theoretical foundation of a multibillion-dollar industry, the genetic engineering of food crops. Dr. Barry Commoner, senior scientist at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College
The proteins created by inserted genes will act exactly the same way in a new organism. Foreign proteins may be folded improperly or become attached to other molecules, which could change their properties. Likewise, gene expression may be affected by the genetic disposition of a host organism, or even the environment. Dr. Peter Wills of Auckland University warns, an incorrectly folded form of an ordinary cellular protein can under certain circumstances . . . [duplicate itself] and give rise to infectious neurological disease. Professor David Schubert of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, says the effect that a particular protein has on a plant or animal can be modified by the addition of molecules such as phosphate, sulfate, sugars, or lipids.
Inserting foreign genes is precise and non-disruptive. The process of inserting foreign genes can damage the structure and function of the host DNA, switch genes on or off, create never-before-seen genetic sequences, and render the genome unstable. The BBC Tomorrow World Magazine says: Genetic engineering is generally a hit and miss affair. The genes may be inserted the wrong way round or multiple copies may be scattered throughout a plant genome. They may be inserted inside other genes destroying their activity or massively increasing it. More worryingly, a plants genetic make-up may become unstable. . . . Rogue toxins may be produced or existing ones amplified massively. Such problems may only arise hundreds of generations after the crops are originally modified.
Foreign genes will not transfer to bacteria in the digestive system. Use of antibiotic resistant genes are therefore safe. Foreign genes jumped to human gut bacteria in just one meal of a GM soy burger and soy milkshake. British scientific researchers have demonstrated for the first time that genetically modified DNA material from crops is finding its way into human gut bacteria, raising potentially serious health questions. The Guardian In 1992, Murray Lumpkin, M.D., then director the FDA Division of Anti infective Drug Products, warned: IT WOULD BE A SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD TO INTRODUCE A GENE THAT CODES FOR ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE INTO THE NORMAL FLORA OF THE GENERAL POPULATION.
The promoter that keeps foreign genes switched on, only influences that one gene. The promoter may turn on native genes over long distances up and down the strand of DNA even genes on a different chromosome. This can create a flood of proteins with unpredictable consequences. Some scientists theorize that the promoter might even switch on dormant viruses that are deposited along the DNA. When inserted into another organism as part of a 'genetic construct,' it [the promoter] may also change the gene expression patterns in the recipient chromosome(s) over long distances up- and downstream from the insertion site. Dr. Michael Hansen, Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports And in their paper, Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promoter A Recipe for Disaster, Drs. Ho, Ryan, and Cummins warn, Horizontal transfer of the CaMV promoter . . . has the potential to reactivate dormant viruses or [create] new viruses in all species to which it is transferred.
The promoter is stable. Studies indicate that the promoter may create a hotspot in the DNA, whereby the whole DNA section, or chromosome, can become unstable. This can cause breaks in the strand or exchanges of genes with other chromosomes. According to Geneticist Dr. Joe Cummins, a promoter can have the same impact as a heavy dose of gamma radiation.
The promoter only works with plant organisms. Research shows that the promoter is active in animal genes and transfers from food to internal organs. Some scientists believe it can accelerate cell growth, possibly leading to cancer. Dr. Stanley Ewen, one of Scotland leading experts in tissue diseases, says, It is possible GM DNA could affect stomach and colonic lining by causing a growth factor effect with the unproven possibility of hastening cancer formation in those organs.
Nutritional properties are unaffected by genetic modification. Significant differences in nutritional content between GM crops and their natural counterparts have been observed. Roundup Ready beans were significantly lower in protein and the amino acid phenylalanine. More disturbing were [increased] levels of the allergen trypsin inhibitor in toasted Roundup Ready meal. . . . Lectins in Roundup Ready beans almost doubled the levels in controls. What might be the result of consuming foods with high levels of trypsin inhibitor and lectin? Well, maybe slower and lower growth, say scientists. Medical writer Barbara Keeler, on data that hasd been omitted from Monsanto published study.
Genes and their expression will act in isolation, not impacting other metabolic processes. Insertion of foreign genes and their new proteins may create complex, unpredictable interactions, not well understood. Similarly, inserting two or more foreign genes into the same plant may also cause interactions that have not been studied. University of Georgia Dr. Sharad Phatak says, When you insert a foreign gene, you are changing the whole metabolic process. . . Each change is going to have an effect on other pathways. Will any one gene kick off a whole slew of changes? We don't know for sure. Stanford Dr. Charles Yanofsky says, Genetic engineering results in the formation of higher than normal concentrations of certain enzymes and products; these could provide the basis for the synthesis of higher levels of toxic substances. Commenting on the genetically modified supplement L-tryptophan produced by Showa Denko, which killed about 100 people and caused 5-10,000 to fall sick, Yanofsky, one of the world's leading authorities on tryptophan biosynthesis, says, If Showa Denko engineered the bacterium to overproduce tryptophan [which they did], then there are many unknowns that would be associated with its overproduction.
There is no risk from breathing pollen from GM crops. Preliminary evidence suggests that residents living adjacent to the edge of a Bt cornfield in the Philippines may have developed a disease from the Bt corn pollen. Experts on the Government's Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes have issued a warning about plants being grown in the U.S. and parts of Europe which contain a gene resistant to antibiotics. They are concerned that, if workers breathe in dust as the crops are processed, the resistance could be transferred to bacteria in their throats. Around one in five people are carriers of the meningitis bacteria, even though they are not affected by the disease. Microbiologist Dr. John Heritage, a member of the committee, has written to American authorities to express his worries. 'It's a huge concern to me,' he said. 'While the risk is small, the consequences of an untreatable, life-threatening infection spreading within the population are enormous. Daily Mail (UK)
The chances of GM crops being allergenic are minimal. After GM soy was introduced into the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed 50%. Current GM corn would not pass tests recommended by international Codex standards for potential allergenicity. It took the FDA 9 months to develop an allergy test for StarLink corn; It was so poorly designed, however, that the EPA's Scientific Advisory Panel rejected its results. The FDA 1992 policy states, At this time, FDA is unaware of any practical method to predict or assess the potential for new proteins in food to induce allergenicity and requests comments on this issue. FDA scientist Dr. Carl Johnson wrote, Are we asking the crop developer to prove that food from his crop is non-allergenic? This seems like an impossible task. According to FDA microbiologist Dr. Louis Pribyl, the only definitive test for allergies is human consumption by affected peoples, which can have ethical considerations. According to a 1999 Washington Post article, there is still no widely accepted way to predict a new food potential to cause an allergy. The FDA is now five years behind in its promise to develop guidelines for doing so. The same remains true today.

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