According to the US Dietary Guidelines, we’re supposed to get 5 servings of vegetables a day, but most of us fall short. A new study presented this weekend at the annual ADA convention has found a solution. Drink your veggies:
University of California-Davis researchers say drinking vegetable juice is an effective way to help people increase their vegetable intake.
Study author Carl Keen says seven out of 10 adults fall short of the daily vegetable intake recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. The researchers studied whether drinking vegetable juice could be a simple behavior change to help boost the intake of vegetables to “strive for five,” or eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
What you need to know:
There’s great variation in the nutritional content of vegetables. Most contain small amounts of fat and protein, and large amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. The variation is important, as each color represents different nutrients found in the plant. Here’s a brief color code breakdown:
Red – tomatoes (especially cooked) – lycopene. Protection from prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease.
Purple – beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers – anthocyanins – good for the heart.
Orange – carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes – alpha carotene, beta carotene.
Yellow/green – spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado – lutein and zeaxanthin – good for the eyes.
Green – broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy – sulforaphane, isocyanate – inhibit the action of carcinogens.
White/green – garlic, onions, leeks, celery, asparagus – allicin and other antioxidants – antitumor properties.
source: The Color Code book
What to do at the supermarket:
When buying vegetable juice, look at the label to see what you’re getting. An 8oz serving of V8 is loaded with salt (480mg / 20% of recommended daily intake). The low sodium version has less than a third of that amount.