As winter approaches, new research into fruit and vegetable intake find Brit diets “not ready” to defend against impending winter bugs.
With the average Brit diets “not ready” for winter, how do you shape up against these findings?
Dietary levels of vital nutrients has been on the decline since 2000, and recent low fruit and vegetable intakes could mean that British people have a greater chance of falling ill over the coming winter months, according to a new report from HSIS (Health Supplements Information Service).
According to the European Food Safety Authority, folate, iron, selenium, and the vitamins A, C and D are all important for normal functioning of the immune system. Yet, as a recent report shows, intakes of these exact nutrients has fallen significantly over the last 20 years.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, nutritionist and adviser to the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (HSIS), says:
“Over the last two decades there have been significant declines for several micronutrients including folate, vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, calcium and potassium. In particular, vitamin A has declined by 20 per cent whilst vitamin D intake has reduced by a massive 22 per cent.
“While we may no longer believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, scientists are unanimous in declaring the important of fruit and vegetables for maintenance of optimal health, which includes being able to ward off the effects of winter flu and tummy bugs. Sadly, just over 1 in ten adults eats the recommended 5 portions a day, according to a survey commissioned by HSIS earlier this year. Not only this, nearly four in ten struggle to eat the right amount of fruit and vegetables most days of the week.
“The survey also showed that 46 percent of Brits have “concerns” about their diet, mostly about sugar and fat, rather than how many vitamins and minerals they are getting. With eight in ten adults finding dietary advice confusing or contradictory, we are not going to see improvements in winter health nutrients any time soon”.