Posts Tagged “fruits and vegetables”
by Honor Whiteman, Medical News Today
Fruits and vegetables are a pivotal part of a healthful diet, but their benefits are not limited to physical health. New research finds that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption may improve psychological well-being in as little as 2 weeks.
Study leader Dr. Tamlin Conner, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and colleagues found that young adults who were given extra fruits and vegetables each day for 14 days ate more of the produce and experienced a boost in motivation and vitality.
The researchers recently reported their findings in the journal PLOS One.
One cup of fruits is the equivalent to half a grapefruit or a large orange, and one cup of vegetables is proportionate to one large red pepper or a large, baked sweet potato.
In recent years, studies have suggested that fruit and vegetable intake may also improve mental health. For their study, Dr. Conner and team set out to investigate this association further.
The researchers enrolled 171 students aged between 18 and 25 to their study, and they were divided into three groups for 2 weeks.
One group continued with their normal eating pattern, one group was personally handed two additional servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (including carrots, kiwi fruit, apples, and oranges) each day, while the remaining group was given prepaid produce vouchers and received text reminders to consume more fruits and vegetables.
At the beginning and end of the study, participants were subjected to psychological assessments that evaluated mood, vitality, motivation, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and other determinants of mental health and well-being.
The researchers found that participants who personally received extra fruits and vegetables consumed the most of these products over the 2 weeks, at 3.7 servings daily, and it was this group that experienced improvements in psychological well-being. In particular, these participants demonstrated improvements in vitality, motivation, and flourishing.
The other two groups showed no improvements in psychological well-being over the 2-week period.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are more likely to say they actively try to avoid including soda or pop in their diet than 14 other foods, including sugar and fat. At least six in 10 U.S. adults say they are trying to steer clear of these drinks — regardless of whether they are diet or regular.
Americans are most likely to say they actively try to include fruits and vegetables in their diet. Gallup asked 1,009 Americans about the foods they try to include or avoid in their diet as part of its annual Consumption Habits poll in July. Previous Gallup reports have focused on Americans’ avoidance or inclusion of gluten-free foods and salt or fat.
Americans appear to be aware of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, with at least nine in 10 saying they actively try to include each in their diet. At least three in four Americans also say they try to include chicken and fish in their diet, meats that nutrition experts often recommend to help with heart health, in lieu of beef and other red meat — which nevertheless, 63% of Americans still actively try to include in their diet.
Republican Senator Michael O’Donnell, and Democratic Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, both of Wichita, filed Senate Bill 263. The measure would eliminate the state tax on fruits and vegetables. The purpose is to encourage Kansans to eat healthier, plus it would support local farmers, as well small business owners who lose business across state lines.
Senator O’Donnell believes killing the sales tax on fresh fruits and vegetables would improve the health of everyone. Research indicates a link between obesity and higher fruit and vegetable prices. The higher prices make it more challenging for many families to eat healthy.
At 6.15 percent, Kanas’ sales tax is second highest in the nation behind Mississippi. In addition to that, county and city governments can levy their own taxes, bringing the total as high as 9 percent in some areas.
Kansas has over 2.9 million residents and ranks 31st in population among the states. It ranks 15th in geographic size.
The most populous city in Kansas is Wichita (population 382,000), followed by Overland Park (174,000) and Kansas City (127,000) and Topeka (127,000).
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that consumption of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day leads to a longer life. The comprehensive research, conducted in Sweden, studied more than 71,000 people aged 45 to 83 for 13 years. Among the key findings, eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is linked with a higher chance of dying early. Participants who ate at least one serving of fruit daily lived 19 months longer than those who never ate fruit, on average. And those who ate at least three servings of vegetables per day lived 32 months longer than people who reported not eating vegetables.
This Swedish study can be added to the decades of nutritional research that show the benefits of eating fruits and veggies on improved health. Another important example is the recent peer reviewed study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology which found that if half of Americans increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables by a single serving, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented. (It should be noted that most of these nutritional studies were conducted using conventionally grown produce.)
This type of science based evidence is why the Alliance for Food and Farming joins with public health experts, the government, and environmental groups in encouraging consumption of all fruits and vegetables – organic and conventional. Experts agree that both are grown safety and can be eaten with confidence.
Restaurant industry sales are predicted to topexceed $660 billion in 2013. This would be a 3.8 percent increase from 2012, says the annual Restaurant Industry Forecast from the Washington, D.C.-based National Restaurant Association.
This would mark the fourth consecutive year of industry sales increases.
The study sees Americans eating more healthfully when they eat out in 2013.
Over 70 percent of people polled claim they are attempting to eat better at restaurants compared to two years ago. About three-quarters of consumers state healthful menu options are an important factor when choosing a restaurant.
Restaurants are making changes to meet the demand for more healthy meals. Around 86 percent of those polled stated eating establishment are offering a wider variety now than two years ago.
2013 is expected to be the 14th straight year in which restaurant industry employment outpaces overall USA employment, the forecast reads.
Restaurants are forecast to employ 13.1 million people in 2013, making the industry the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer.
In 2012, restaurants added jobs at a rate of three percent more than double the overall USA employment rate of 1.4 percent. In 2013, restaurants expected to add jobs at a 2.4 percent rate, .9 percent more than the expected overall rate.