Fruit and vegetables are the only foods which, in thousands of research studies, have been consistently associated with risk reduction in several diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and age-related macular degeneration.
A diet rich in a variety of plant foods provides a mixture of phytochemicals (“non-nutritive” substances in plants) that possess health protective properties.
Fruit and vegetables contain an abundance of phenolic compounds, terpenoids, pigments and other natural antioxidants that have been associated with protection from and treatment of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
Fruit and vegetables are complex and contain nutrients that have as yet not even been identified, but many are currently being researched. That said, despite their complex composition, manufacturers of supplements tend to simplify the value of the different elements of which fruit and vegetables are comprised and which contribute toward their protective properties. Indeed, it is often erroneously assumed that fruit and vegetables can be “replaced” with pills of single or multiple known nutrients.