Concept: Vegetarian cuisine
To explore whether improvements in psychological well-being occur after increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Dietary recommendations emphasize increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereals for prevention of chronic disease.
Infant dietary patterns tend to be insufficient sources of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, as well as excessive in salt, added sugars, and overall energy. Despite the serious long-term health risks associated with suboptimal fruit and vegetable intake, a large percentage of infants and toddlers in the U.S. do not consume any fruits or vegetables on a daily basis. Since not all fruits and vegetables are nutritionally similar, guidance on the optimal selection of fruits and vegetables should emphasize those with the greatest potential for nutrition and health benefits. A challenge is that the most popularly consumed fruits for this age group (i.e., apples, pears, bananas, grapes, strawberries) do not closely fit the current general recommendations since they tend to be overly sweet and/or high in sugar. Unsaturated oil-containing fruits such as avocados are nutritionally unique among fruits in that they are lower in sugar and higher in fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids than most other fruits, and they also have the proper consistency and texture for first foods with a neutral flavor spectrum. Taken together, avocados show promise for helping to meet the dietary needs of infants and toddlers, and should be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for complementary and transitional feeding.
Residents of some low-income neighborhoods have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2008, New York City issued new mobile fruit and vegetable cart licenses for neighborhoods with inadequate availability of fresh produce. Some of these carts were equipped with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) machines, allowing them to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This article examines the association between type and quantities of fruits and vegetables purchased from mobile fruit and vegetable vendors and consumer characteristics, including payment method.
Governments worldwide recommend daily consumption of fruit and vegetables. We examine whether this benefits health in the general population of England.
Is consumption of fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues associated with lower semen quality?
The current paper provides an analysis of the potential number of cancer cases that might be prevented if half the U.S. population increased its fruit and vegetable consumption by one serving each per day. This number is contrasted with an upper-bound estimate of concomitant cancer cases that might be theoretically attributed to the intake of pesticide residues arising from the same additional fruit and vegetable consumption. The cancer prevention estimates were derived using a published meta-analysis of nutritional epidemiology studies. The cancer risks were estimated using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods, cancer potency estimates from rodent bioassays, and pesticide residue sampling data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The resulting estimates are that approximately 20,000 cancer cases per year could be prevented by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, while up to 10 cancer cases per year could be caused by the added pesticide consumption. These estimates have significant uncertainties (e.g., potential residual confounding in the fruit and vegetable epidemiologic studies and reliance on rodent bioassays for cancer risk). However, the overwhelming difference between benefit and risk estimates provides confidence that consumers should not be concerned about cancer risks from consuming conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Most children do not meet daily recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake, and consumption of vegetables remains especially low. Eating habits track from childhood to adulthood hence establishing liking and intake of vegetables is important.
Inflorescence architecture is a key determinant of yield potential in many crops and is patterned by the organization and developmental fate of axillary meristems. In cereals, flowers and grain are borne from spikelets, which differentiate in the final iteration of axillary meristem branching. In Setaria spp., inflorescence branches terminate in either a spikelet or a sterile bristle, and these structures appear to be paired. In this work, we leverage Setaria viridis to investigate a role for the phytohormones brassinosteroids (BRs) in specifying bristle identity and maintaining spikelet meristem determinacy. We report the molecular identification and characterization of the Bristleless 1 (Bsl1) locus in S. viridis, which encodes a rate-limiting enzyme in BR biosynthesis. Loss-of-function bsl1 mutants fail to initiate a bristle identity program, resulting in homeotic conversion of bristles to spikelets. In addition, spikelet meristem determinacy is altered in the mutants, which produce two florets per spikelet instead of one. Both of these phenotypes provide avenues for enhanced grain production in cereal crops. Our results indicate that the spatiotemporal restriction of BR biosynthesis at boundary domains influences meristem fate decisions during inflorescence development. The bsl1 mutants provide insight into the molecular basis underlying morphological variation in inflorescence architecture.
There has been increasing interest in nuts and their outcome regarding human health. The consumption of nuts is frequently associated with reduction in risk factors for chronic diseases. Although nuts are high calorie foods, several studies have reported beneficial effects after nut consumption, due to fatty acid profiles, vegetable proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols with potential antioxidant action. However, the current findings about the benefits of nut consumption on human health have not yet been clearly discussed. This review highlights the effects of nut consumption on the context of human health.