I just found this on www.medicalnewstoday.com and it backs up most of what I’ve been talking about with regard to getting in your 5 fruit and vegetables every day. Remember its so easy to do. Simply have some fruit with breakfast and as an afternoon snack (two portions) and then have one portion of veggies at lunch and two at dinner… easy!!
Remember that the Irish are very similar to the U.S. in terms of their fruit and vegetable intake.
American’s fall short on nutrients and phytonutrients that boost the immune system.
The majority of Americans report getting a cold or flu in the past year, and more than a third say they’ll make lifestyle changes to prevent getting sick again this year. However, 40 percent of Americans don’t plan to take what is arguably the easiest and tastiest step to help potentially prevent illness this cold and flu season – eat more fruits and vegetables daily. (1)
According to a newly released report, America’s Phytonutrient Report: Immune Health by Color, American adults who fall short in meeting their recommended daily fruit and vegetable intakes, are also likely to fall short in vitamins A, C, and E, zinc and selenium, all nutrients research suggests may support a healthy immune system. America’s Phytonutrient Reports are released by The Nutrilite Health Institute, a worldwide collaboration of experts who are dedicated to helping people achieve optimal health – through research, education, and practical, personalized solutions. Nutrilite is the world’s leading brand of vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements, based on 2008 sales.
“During cold and flu season, it is especially important that Americans eat a variety of colorful plant-based foods which provide phytonutrients and important immune-boosting vitamins and minerals too,” says Keith Randolph, Ph.D., Technology Strategist for Nutrilite. “Our previous research documented that, on average, eight out of 10 American adults have a phytonutrient gap. And now we find that those Americans with a phytonutrient gap are falling short when it comes to immune-boosting nutrients too.”
Using NHANES and USDA data that show what Americans eat; America’s Phytonutrient Report: Immune Health by Color found that intakes of vitamins A, C and E, zinc and selenium were consistently higher among people who meet their fruit and vegetable recommendations based on government guidelines. For these select vitamins and minerals, people who meet their fruit and vegetable recommendations compared to those who do not, consume:
* more than double (125%) the vitamin C;
* nearly two-thirds more (59%) vitamin A;
* 47% more vitamin E;
* 20% more zinc;
* and, 16% more selenium.
The new report also summarized previously documented food sources of these immunity nutrients. (2) Not surprisingly, fruits and vegetables were a main contributor for vitamins A and C as follows:
* Vitamin A: 38.6% of total intake