We all know we need to be eating several servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
The recommendation is that we eat as many as 10 servings. The challenge is that fruits and vegetables are expensive (to eat
the proper amount, a family of 4 would have to spend 40% of their food budget on fruits and veggies) and not very convenient in today’s busy lifestyles. This is evidenced by the fact that the average american today eats 3 servings (potatoes don’t count) per day. It is easy to see the direct link between the gap in necessary nutrients (fruits and veggies contain the key vitamins/minerals/fiber/micronutrients/probiotics/enzymes needed for the body to function properly and stay healthy) and the continued rise in health issues at earlier and earlier ages.
An unfortunate truth is that even if we are eating the proper amounts, we will still be woefully short on the
basic nutrients we need to get from these fruits and veggies.
The U.S.D.A. published a study done on the nutrient levels of fruits and vegetables from 1963 to 2000. During this time frame there was a significant decline in the nutritional content of these foods. This is due to farming techniques, soil depletion, shipping, etc.
Here are a few examples:
- The Calcium and Beta Carotene in Broccoli has declined 50%
- Carotene declined 42%,Potassium 60%, and Magnesium 84% in Collard Greens
- Vitamin C in Peppers declined 40%
- Beta Carotene in Apples declined over 40%
- Calcium declined 60% in Pineapples
- Vitamins B1, B2 and C declined 50% in Cauliflower
This is if we eat these foods raw. If we cook these foods, the content goes down further. Cooking greatly
diminishes vitamins, kills enzymes, and leaches out minerals.
The moral of the story is that while it used to be “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” today it is more
like “Several apples a day and also take your supplements!”