THE DECREASE IN THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES MAY BE A CONCERN.
The benefits and drawbacks of modern farming techniques have been debated for years. Factory farming or “hyperagriculture” has resulted in gigantic advances in crop yields, but many claim that the nutrient content, and therefore its total nutritional value to humans, has been affected.
The average yield in terms of bushels per acre for major crops in the US has skyrocketed since the 1950s. Corn is up 342%! Wheat is up 290%, while both soybeans and alfalfa are up 170%. Similar performance increases have occurred in Europe, Australia, Japan, and other regions of the world as well.
Data presented by researchers from the Department of Soil Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison shows that while these great advances in crop yields have occurred over the past 50 years, nutrient content has been under siege and in decline. slope. Similarly, a review of data published by the USDA’s ARC Nutrient Data Laboratory shows “a sharp decline in minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients in foods since the last comprehensive survey” some 20 years ago.
NEW EVIDENCE ON NUTRIENT DEPLETION
Recent data published by Dr. David Thomas, a primary care physician and independent researcher, looked at the difference between UK government published tables for nutrient content published in 1940 and again in 2002. The comparison was eye-opening. He showed that the iron content of 15 different varieties of meat had decreased by 47%. Dairy products had shown similar declines; a 60% drop in iron and up to a 90% drop in copper.
GREATER AVAILABILITY VERSUS LESS VALUE.
It is true that in the modern world of industrialized nations, the availability of fruits and vegetables is at an all time high. If we want it, it’s there. On the other hand, despite this greater availability, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has not increased in the population. In fact, in many population subgroups it has decreased. When this knowledge is combined with reported declines in nutrient levels in food, many health care providers, scientists, researchers, and government officials are seeking answers about how we can expect to maintain the nutritional value and balance of our food while we need to produce every more and more of the same soils to feed an ever-growing population. So far, the road ahead is uncertain at best.
NEW STUDIES SHOW THE PROTECTIVE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CONSUMPTION OF TEA, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND WOMEN’S HEALTH.
Tea and ovarian cancer risk: Researchers from the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, conducted a 15-year follow-up study of more than 61,000 women aged 40 to 76 years. Their evidence, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2005;165(22):2683-2686) showed that those women who regularly consumed tea had a dramatically lower risk of ovarian cancer. Tea drinkers who averaged less than one cup per day matched an 18% risk reduction. One or more cups per day provided a 24% risk reduction, and 2 or more cups per day showed a 46% risk reduction. Unsurprisingly, these findings led the researchers to conclude: “The results suggest that tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.”
Soy and Women’s Health: Publishing their work in the January 15, 2006 issue of Cancer Research, a team of researchers from West Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, concluded that soy phytoestrogens may protect against breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. According to John Hopkins University researchers presenting data at the November 15, 2005 meeting of the American Heart Association, consumption of soy protein (20 grams per day for 6 weeks) reduced two strong predictors of coronary heart disease in women postmenopausal African Americans. The result shows that LDL cholesterol and another cholesterol marker known as LDL-P (P = number of particles) were reduced in women taking soy protein, regardless of age or race.