The research found that the majority of adults worldwide would have to at least double their current consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet the World Health Organization’s minimum recommendation of five servings (400 grams) per day. Additionally, the vast majority of adults worldwide, 60 to 87 percent across 13 geographic diet regions, are falling short of this recommendation and missing out on crucial nutrition and health benefits.
The gap between the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and what adults are actually eating also indicates that most adults worldwide are not receiving the quantity or variety of phytonutrients, organic compounds found in fruits and vegetables, potentially needed to support their health and wellness.
It was established that adults in European regions, likely have high intakes of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, attributable in part to the relative high availability of carrots. These phytonutrients are known to support healthy growth and development, while adults in Asia, which includes Chinaand India, likely have relatively low intakes of ellagic acid due to the limited availability of berries. Adults in South/Central America likely have relatively low intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytonutrients thought to be crucial to healthy vision
Keith Randolph, Ph.D., acknowledged that busy lives, cost, seasonal and geographic availability, as well as perceptions of the value of fruits and vegetables as a food source, could all influence people’s consumption of fruits and vegetables, and ultimately phytonutrients.
He further explained that this was why it’s important for adults to eat whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, whenever possible but when availability would be limited or diet was not enough, dietary supplementation might be an option for individuals looking to increase their phytonutrient consumption.
The research is published in the British Journal of Nutrition. (ANI)