Many don't plan to eat more produce

Nov. 1, 2010 at 12:20 AM
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say 40 percent of Americans don't plan to take the easiest step to better immunity -- eating more fruits and vegetables.

Researchers at The Nutrilite Health Institute -- supported by Nutrilite, a company that sells vitamin, mineral and other dietary supplements -- have prepared a report that finds U.S. adults who fall short of daily fruit and vegetable recommendations are likely to also fall short in nutrients that support healthy immunity such as vitamins A, C, and E and the mineral zinc.

The researchers say those who meet daily fruit and vegetable recommendations have more than double the vitamin C and nearly two-thirds more vitamin A of those who did not. They also had 47 percent more vitamin E, 20 percent more zinc and 16 percent more selenium.

"During cold and flu season, it is especially important that Americans eat a variety of colorful plant-based foods which provide phytonutrients and important immune-boosting vitamins and minerals too," researcher Keith Randolph said in a statement.

"Our previous research documented that, on average, eight out of 10 American adults have a phytonutrient gap. And now we find that those Americans with a phytonutrient gap are falling short when it comes to immune-boosting nutrients too."

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