Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and respiratory disease account for 59% of the 56.5 million deaths each year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have identified poor consumption of fruit and vegetables as a major contributing factor in the development of these diseases, and it is estimated that 2.7 million lives could potentially be saved with adequate intake of fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables are made up of many vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that are beneficial for our health as they provide protection from free radicals, high blood cholesterol and many other disease related factors.
These free radicals, also known as prooxidants, build in our system through every day but are enhanced by poor lifestyle factors such as tobacco and high levels of alcohol consumption. Breathing, eating, even exercising yield these silent killers, so avoiding them is impossible.
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“So, if these free radicals are slowly killing me, is there hope?”
Unfortunately we cannot fully eliminate the problem, however we can neutralize the effects of these free radicals simply by eating enough.
Based on scientific evidence “does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?” I’d like to say it does, however that one apple doesn’t account for the 2 fruit and 5 veg that is recommended by the Department of Health. In 2002, the ‘go for 2 and 5’ campaign was launched.
Figures from research in preparation for the ‘go for 2 and 5’ campaign illustrates Australians consume a daily average of 2.6 servings of vegetables and 1.6 servings of fruits.
What is of greater concern is that most Australians think they have an adequate average daily fruit and vegetable intake. Naively, this is not the case. Many Australians under-consume fruit and vegetables due to the lack of knowledge of ‘actual’ recommended intakes of fruit and veg.
So, there is some truth in the famous saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, however with a higher industrialized society, that single apple is not be enough to combat lifestyle-related disease.
At Healthy Identity, our healthy coaches specialise in creating nutrition, exercise and lifestyle programs so you and your network can reach your healthy identity. If you need any advice in regards to your health do not hesitate to get in contact with me on 0423 366 014 or email[email protected]
Robbie Manzano is founder and managing director of Healthy Identity. Robbie has degrees in Human Nutrition and Coaching Science from the University of Canberra and has completed a Graduate Certificate Public Health from Curtin University.[email protected] 0423 366 014