N° 19 | March 2017

Fruit and vegetables: still surprising!


Most people are aware of the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption,
but few apply them and even fewer know why! And yet the list of benefits is long. Their
consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular
diseases, cerebrovascular accidents, hypertension, cancer, age-related cognitive decline and
age-related macular degeneration.
Fruit and vegetables have plenty of surprises in store! Surprising benefits have come to light.
People who consume large amounts of fruit and vegetables are less likely to smoke. If they
smoke, they are less dependent on cigarettes, if they consume more fruit and vegetables, and
are more inclined to quit smoking. Depression rates are lower: but more research is needed
to understand the mechanisms.
Likewise, in older subjects, particularly women, those who consume fewer fruit and
vegetables ≤ 1 portion/day) are at increased risk of femoral neck fractures compared to
those who consume > 3 to ≤ 5 portions/day. Bones benefit in many ways: vitamins C and
K, polyphenols, etc. and a better lifestyle must not be overlooked either (physical activity,
overall nutrition, etc.).
Finally, the new geriatric concept of frailty is dramatically reduced in those who consume
lots of fruit and vegetables. Is this a marker or a contributing factor? We have found, for
example, that elderly people who eat more fruit and vegetables eat more of everything! So
many benefits. So many benefits!

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