The team examined the impact of low fruit and vegetable consumption on phytonutrient intake in each of the 13 regions under study. They found that adults consuming five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables had two to six times the average intake of phytonutrients of adults consuming fewer than five servings per day.
While specific recommendations for phytonutrient consumption levels have not yet been established uniformly worldwide, a growing body of research suggests that eating foods rich in phytonutrients may provide a range of health benefits, from promoting eye, bone and heart health, to supporting immune and brain function. Many phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that can help fight the damage caused to our bodies’ cells over time. “Both the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet are important,” stressed study co-author Mary Murphy, a senior managing scientist at US-based Exponent Inc.
In order to consume a range of phytonutrients, people should aim to meet recommended intakes of fruits and vegetables and eat an assortment of fruits and vegetables, he added. The findings of the report appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition.