Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

True about cars, refrigerators, radios, and virtually every other consumable good–including food.

Beside compromises in flavour, the nutrition of vegetables and fruits aren’t what they used to be.

Over the last fifty years, food has been cultivated with higher yields and pesticide resistance in mind. The number of varieties of apples, for example, has dwindled from the thousands to less than one hundred that are grown to be sold in the marketplace. The sacrifice of higher yield is nutrition.

“Nutrient decline has occurred because the focus of plant and animal breeders, farmers, and agribusiness has been on increasing yields, not on food nutritional quality. The reason for this focus is clear–farm commodity markets, federal farm policy, and those funding agricultural research have rewarded yield increases above all else.”[1]

A study published ten years ago found that the levels of key vitamins and minerals in forty-three fruits and vegetables declined significantly between 1950 and 1999. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and protein contents have all decreased in much of the produce we eat. A British study of minerals in vegetables and fruits from 1930 to 1980 showed reduced levels of not only calcium, but copper, iron, magnesium and potassium as well.

The Dirt on Plant Nutrition


In addition to the selection of varieties now grown commercially for food, the nature of the soil has changed by virtue of a switch to chemical fertilizers and changes in farming techniques.

“Early studies of fertilization found inverse relationships between crop yield and mineral concentrations—the widely cited ‘dilution effect’…recent side-by-side plantings of low- and high-yield cultivars of broccoli and grains found consistently negative correlations between yield and concentrations of minerals and protein.”[2]

Conventionally-raised produce is fertilized with synthetics to make it grow faster and larger. Plants don’t behave as they naturally would, growing longer root systems to get enough nutrients to grow. The chemicals don’t nourish the soil adequately, or the micro-organisms that are so necessary to the health of the earth and the plants from which it grows.

Crop rotation, employed for thousands of years, is much less prevalent on factory farms than it used to be; nutrients taken from the soil aren’t naturally replenished and eventually soil loses the ability to feed the plants sown–leading to wider use of fertilizers. Weeds and insects become tolerant of the herbicides and pesticides used, leading to other and more toxic chemicals to kill them.

Nutrient decline isn’t limited to produce.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, grains are less nutritious than in the past. Proteins in wheat, corn, and soy beans have declined a great deal in the last fifty years although the volumes grown are greater.

Hundreds of studies have shown that organic produce is more nutritious. This is due in part to the methods uses for farming: soil is nourished using compost, manure, and cover crops. Crops are regularly rotated, which reduces the incidence of pests and disease. Micro-organisms thrive in the enriched soil and in turn feed the plants. Many would argue that organic produce is more flavourful as well.

The implications aren’t limited to the nutrient content of an individual food.

Greater nutrient density means you not only get more necessary vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients but your body won’t prompt you to eat more to get what it needs. Americans eat plenty–but the nutrition in the foods we eat is questionable. Part of the reason we overeat is because our bodies aren’t getting enough from what it is we are eating.

It is certainly feasible to put the nutrients back into our food by returning to natural farming. The quality of the food we eat is more important than the quantity. On top of that, we are all stewards of the land and all its inhabitants. How we treat it directly affects us and future generations.

[1] http://organic-center.org/publications/
[2] http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/1/15.full

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Juice Plus+ is the only daily supplement I take – Dr. Bill Sears


Do I feel passionate about this product? Yes! Here’s why.

Each morning I put a scoopful of Juice Plus+ Complete into my fruit and yogurt smoothie. Every day I take my Fruit and Veggie Juice Plus+ Capsules, and dole out Juice Plus+ to our kids in the form of chewables (soft) and capsules according to their age and taste. Then I go to my office and recommend the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study to the families in my pediatric practice.

JuicePlus Orchard GardenDuring the year following my surgery, I read volumes about nutrition, subscribed to every nutrition journal I could find, put together a collection of over 500 file folders about food, and became what my friends tagged a “health nut.” About three months into my new style of eating, I noticed some amazing changes. My energy level skyrocketed, prompting my wife Martha to call me “Zip.” We stepped up our ballroom dancing and even beat some of the younger couples in the swing contest. My mind was working better, too.

I just plain felt good all over – mind and body – and finally learned what it is to experience real well-being. Too bad I had to get sick in order to learn to eat right instead of eating right to keep from getting sick.

Why was I feeling so good?

The answer seemed clear: I was putting the right fuel into my body that made it run better. At that time – as a father of eight, author of 28 books, and a pediatrician at the peak of his career – I was going to do everything I could to keep my health up and not let the cancer reoccur. Talk about motivation!

During my quests for what constitutes good health, I devoured books and articles about supplements and discovered that one of the secrets of good health is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables that contain thousands of disease-fighting chemicals called “phytonutrients.” I call them “phytos” for short. The same phytos that help keep plants healthy, help keep our bodies healthy. Even thousands of years ago Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine.”

As I studied the parade of supplements out there, I concluded that whatever supplement I take must have good science and make good sense. That’s how I came across Juice Plus+.

It had good science behind it and made good sense – a whole food-based supplement! Whole foods, a bunch of the healthiest fruits and vegetables, were juiced and dried as close to the fields as possible to maintain the highest possible level of nutrition. These nutritious juice powders are then put into capsules and chewable tablets!

Intrigued by this concept of packaged phytos, I realized that my life depended upon eating the right foods and taking the right supplements. So I did my life-saving detective work. While visiting the company where Juice Plus+ is made, I saw firsthand the care and quality that went into this product. In examining their independent clinical research, I discovered that researchers had measured the blood levels and found that disease-fighting “phytos” go way up after taking Juice Plus+ – and they had published their results in peer-reviewed medical journals. This was a vital discovery since it’s not what’s on the package label that’s important – it’s how much gets into the body. Finally I grilled the company executives, and they were honorable people. The combination of good science, good sense, and a reputable company convinced me that this would be my supplement of choice.

Since taking Juice Plus+ daily and following an overall healthy eating and exercise program, I have not even had so much as a cold; even though my wonderful little patients share their germs with me every day. The parents of children who are sick a lot often thank me: “Since my children have been taking Juice Plus+ they haven’t been sick as often.” Juice Plus+ is now the only whole food based supplement I take. I’m pleased to recommend the joy of taking Juice Plus+ to everyone who takes their health seriously.

I am very excited about Juice Plus+ and have seen the benefits in myself and my children. Start your family on Juice Plus+ today and see the benefits over a lifetime!

To Your Good Health,

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Small steps towards a better lifestyle

Drink more water

Water is so important! It increases your metabolism, and cleans out your system! The best way to flush out toxins is simple: lots and lots of water.

The question is how much water is enough?

Water increases your metabolism so much that if you’re chronically dehydrated, it can mean up to an 8-pound weight gain or more per year! Your challenge is to aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, someone who weights 150 pounds should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day. This will be a gradual thing start small and work it up!

This has always been something that I struggle with, however recently I’ve been aiming to drink a large glass of water before each meal and don’t allow myself to start the meal until the glass is finished and so far it’s really working!

But you don’t have to drink it plain; you can add a little flavour as well with these delicious (and detoxifying) additions. Add all of these to a large jug or bottle of water and drink throughout the next day for an effective way to detox! It helps to let these pieces soak overnight in your fridge to let the flavours meld.

Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalize the body. Add one thinly sliced lemon to a large pitcher, or squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass.

Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well.

Cucumber: Cucumber water isn’t just for spas. Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent rehydration, and cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Ginger: The spicy root helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach. A little goes a long way, so start with a few thin slices or grate a tiny piece into your water and taste before adding more as necessary.

We can all mistake thirst for hunger too, which leads to eating more unnecessary calories!

If like me you struggle with drinking water, try my little trick and if you have any other tricks for staying hydrated let us know in the comments below!

Clear Out Your Kitchen

One of the easiest ways to get healthy and lose weight is to clear out the junk food that’s lurking in your kitchen cupboards, fridge, and freezer. Once you’ve gotten rid of unhealthy foods in your cupboards, replace them with lots of wholesome options — fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins — so you won’t feel deprived.

Cut out sugar

Sugar has to be one of the worst things you can consume. Now when I talk about sugar, I’m talking about the processed kind not the natural sugars you find in foods like fruit. Processed sugar has absolutely no nutritional value to the body and strips nutrients as it passes through the digestive system. It’s called empty calories for a reason. In fact recent studies have shown that sugar has the same addictive effects on the brain as cocaine. So when you consume it you will automatically want more. Sugar also spikes your insulin levels, which leads to increased fat storage on the body. I really could go on and on with the negative effects this has to the body, which is why it’s so important to start cutting it from your diet. The bad thing about sugar is it’s actually in everything. So many processed packaged foods contain it that you wouldn’t even think of. So start reading your food labels and become aware of what foods have it added in. Then start to cut those out. It can be quite intense when you first cut sugar as the body goes through withdrawal symptoms, but once it’s out of your diet completely you will feel so much better for it, trust me!

Meal plan and prep

If you want to eat healthy then you need to get organised with your food. Not having healthy options in the fridge will mean you run the risk of making unhealthy choices or not eating at all! So what we find works for us if at the beginning of the week we will work out what Seamy, (my hubby does all the cooking in our home) will be making for dinners each night, we then write out our grocery list and stick to that at the supermarket. This avoids picking up unwanted food items and will save you money in the long term! It can seem like a lot of work to begin with but the more you practice and the easier it becomes. Also with little kids its important to be super organized!

Get plenty of sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is so important to a healthy lifestyle. When you sleep properly your body is able to function better, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. Having a bad night’s sleep can also slow your metabolism down which is why it’s so important to get into the habit of sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived tend to crave higher-fat, greasier, and sugary comfort foods like ice cream and salty snacks. If you are one to go to bed late because you stay up late watching T.V or are on the computer on social media, start by restricting these things one hour before your planned bedtime. Get yourself into a nightly ritual before bed that will allow you to unwind and get to sleep easily. Things like reading, taking a hot bath or some gentle stretching can be hugely beneficial to getting off to bed and into a deep sleep more easily.

Remove negative self-talk

Being healthy isn’t just about having a healthy body, it’s also about having a healthy mind and outlook on life. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and put ourselves down so much. But don’t listen to that negative voice inside your head. It’s the one that pops up whenever you have to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Now I have to admit, I have been guilty of this many times in the past and I’m still working on it now. What you think about is often what you become. Every time the negative voice starts, immediately stop it in it’s tracks and start thinking more positively. It might be hard to begin with but when you begin to do it more regularly it will become a lot easier to snap out of it when that negative voice makes an appearance. Positive thoughts attract positive results, try it, it really works!

Now remember you don’t need to try and tackle these all at once. Start with one or two, let them become good solid habits in your life and then move on to the next. You don’t just need to stick to these either. Sit down and think about what habits you can create for yourself that will help you achieve your goals.

Remember it’s never to late to make a change!

If you aren’t happy with the way your body looks or feels-make a lifestyle change. Its never too late to start eating healthier and exercising you will be surprised how small changes can make you feel.


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