I recently went on a wonderful holiday to an island.
The island had three restaurants to choose from for all meals. One, a Japanese option, the other two best described as Australian fast food. The Japanese was lovely and healthy; unfortunately was only open four of the days. The other two were open all the time. Salad options were sold out by 11.30am leaving only fried foods (chips, sweet potato chips, calamari etc) as our limited option.
It made me realise how much fruit and vegetables I consume regularly. I thought I was ‘normal’ in this aspect. Upon reflection of my holiday, it seems I may not be!
In our line of work as a chiropractor we are here to help people achieve optimal health and wellness. Diet is a key factor to how well we function. Ideally, we need to aim for 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Both fruit and vegetables are a great source of water and fibre and therefore extremely beneficial for our digestive tract. Some examples of fruits and vegetables high in water and fibre content include; blueberry, apple, orange, peach, pineapple, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber and lettuce. 1
Many studies show the benefits of regular intake of fruit and vegetable in our diet. One study of men who ate 110 grams of apple a day (an averaged sized apple) had half the risk of a heart attack compared to those who ate less than 18 grams per day.2
Another study resulted in a reduction by 20% risk of developing colorectal cancer by the addition of one daily serving of vegetables.3 Another reason to increase your intake of leafy greens is it is significantly associated with a reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes.4
A high intake of fruit and vegetables have been associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease.5
Hopefully these studies will spur us all onto increasing our fruit and vegetable intake. Aside from the poor food choices I did have a lovely holiday. I hope that this year we all get a nice break away and relax somewhere.
 Cooperative extension service, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, ENRI-129, December 1997.
 Ness, AR, Powles, JW. Does eating fruit and vegetables protect against heart attack and stroke? Chemistry and Industry, Oct, 21, 1996; 792-4
 Franceschi, S. et al. Food groups and risk of colorectal cancer in Italy. Int. J. Cancer 1997 72:56-61
 Carter, PC, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2010; 341: C4229
 Pomerleau J, Lock K, McKee M. The burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake in the European Union: difference between old and new member states. Public Health Nutr 2006; 9: 575-83