Vegetable supplements and juice health
benefit, list of various produce plants
January 2 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
People who eat their vegetables on a daily basis keep their
minds sharp into old ages. Fruit
intake, on the other
hand, seems to have less of a benefit.
Researchers found that among more than 3,700 older adults they followed for six
years, those who ate plenty of vegetables showed a significantly slower rate of
decline in memory and other
Compared with men and women who ate the fewest vegetables -- typically less than
a serving a day -- those who ate around three servings or more per day had a 40
percent slower rate of decline on tests of
cognitive function. The findings
suggest that something about vegetables, such as their concentration of certain
nutrients, makes them particularly effective in preserving mental acuity into
old age. Include a few servings of vegetables in
your diet on a daily basis.
Vegetable cost metrics show that potatoes and beans provide most nutrients per penny.
Have a variety, not just potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce
Potatoes now make up 30 percent of the vegetables grown and processed for Americans each year, while tomatoes make up 22 percent. Toss in lettuce (7 percent), and these three vegetables comprise 59 percent of the vegetables grown for and distributed to Americans.
List of vegetables
and their benefits
Beets - The beet plant (Beta vulgaris) is typically dark red or purple, though in less common varieties it can be white, yellow, orange, bright red, or even rainbow-colored. The root of one variety of beet, known as the Sugar Beet, is a great source of sucrose and is widely grown commercially for producing table sugar. Beets have long been used in traditional medicines around the world for issues relating to digestion or the blood, such as constipation or fevers. Beet root juice is also considered an aphrodisiac. Nitrates in Beets can make exercise less tiring by reducing the amount of oxygen the body needs to use. Drinking juice from the Beet root can boost stamina and increase endurance and can reduce blood pressure. Beets may also be helpful in supporting liver health and eye health, as well as encouraging normal cholesterol levels and discouraging inflammation. Beets help maintain blood purity, aid elasticity of cell walls, and provide iron to support and oxygenate blood cells. Folate, a B vitamin essential for normal tissue growth, is also found in rich quantities in Beets. Most other red plants contain anthocyanin pigmentation, but the vivid colors of beet roots come from a variety of betalain pigments. Beets are also a good source of bioflavonoids, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, and phosphorus, carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Carrots - The benefits of carrots are enhanced if they are cooked whole rather
than chopped up beforehand. They taste better too because more of their sugar is
retained. Chopping up carrots increases the surface area so more of the
nutrients leach out into the water while they are cooked. Aside from the alpha,
beta and gamma carotene, Carrots are also fine sources of other phytonutrients
which support the body's overall health. Carrots contain good amounts of
lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin which may help maintain normal function of the
Broccoli sprout extracts contain sulforaphane, an important nutrient that has anti-cancer potential.
Beets have many wonderful substances including betalains and others.
Eggplant vegetable extract is being promoted as a cure for cancer and as a way to lose weight although I am not able to find any human research that supports these claims.
Potatoes - Have you tried purple potatoes? They are delicious. In Korea, purple-colored spuds are considered a folk remedy for weight loss.
Pumpkin vegetable is a member of the gourd family.
Purple corn vegetable is starting to become more popular
Spinach health benefits.
Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 2016. Effects of Constant Intake of Lutein-rich Spinach on Macular Pigment Optical Density: a Pilot Study. Regular intake of lutein-rich spinach increased both macular pigment optical density and serum lutein concentrations.
Tomatoes and tomato products have the antioxidant Lycopene. Tomatoes, for culinary purposes, are classified as a vegetable but botanically they are a fruit.
Wasabi is Japanese horseradish.
Watercress supplementation reduces DNA damage. Watercress also is a good source of high levels of the antioxidant carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin which help protect good vision, support cardiovascular health and help shield cells from damage caused by free radicals. A cup of fresh watercress contains more than 1,900 mcg of both lutein and zeaxanthin.
Woad is a member of the cabbage family.
Yacon is from South America
Yucca root has a waxy texture.
Cabbage family vegetables
Vegetables can be classified into groups, such as:
Leafy green – lettuce, spinach, arugula,
Crucifer – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables are a major dietary source of isothiocyanates that protect against coronary heart disease. Isothiocyanates induce glutathione S-transferases, polymorphic genes that code for enzymes that conjugate isothiocyanates, as well as mutagens and reactive oxygen species, to make them more readily excretable. Cruciferous vegetables also have Indole3Carbinol, an anti-cancer agent now available as a supplement.
Eating raw, but not cooked, cruciferous vegetables helps protect against the development of bladder cancer. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, have high levels of isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are cancer prevention agents especially promising in bladder cancer prevention.
Cruciferous vegetable intake consistent with high isothiocyanate exposure reduces breast cancer risk. Isothiocyanates, compounds found primarily in cruciferous vegetables, have been shown in laboratory studies to possess anticarcinogenic activity. Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are involved in the metabolism and elimination of isothiocyanates; thus, genetic variations in these enzymes may affect in vivo bioavailability and the activity of isothiocyanates.
Curcurbits – pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
Root – potato, sweet potato and yam, along with yucca root. Root and bulb vegetables include carrots, celeriac (root celery), parsnips, onions, garlic, and leek, food crops grown globally and consumed worldwide.
Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2012. The supplementation of yam powder products can give the nutritional benefits of the antioxidant mineral (cu, zn, mn, fe and se) intakes. The study results show that daily supplementation of Korean yam power is beneficial to provide the supplemental nutrient intake and also is safe, if the suggested dosage would be considered.
Edible plant stem – celery and asparagus.
Allium – onion, garlic and shallot.
Colon cancer risk
Diets rich in fruit and deep-yellow vegetables, dark-green vegetables, and onions and garlic reduce the risk of colorectal adenoma, a precursor of colon cancer.
Eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking tea and red wine may offer overweight men and normal weight women some protection from colon and rectal cancers. Plant-based foods contain flavonoids, compounds thought to interfere with cancer-causing processes.
Vegetable intake and mental
Associations of vegetable and fruit consumption with age-related cognitive change.
Neurology. 2006.. Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Chicago, IL
To examine the association between rates of cognitive change and dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables among older persons. The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of 3,718 participants, aged 65 years and older of the Chicago Health and Aging Project. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire and were administered at least two of three cognitive assessments at baseline, 3-year, and 6-year follow-ups. High vegetable but not fruit consumption may be associated with slower rate of cognitive decline with older age.
Immunity and antioxidant benefit
Immunity and antioxidant capacity in humans is enhanced by consumption of a dried, encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate.
J Nutr. 2006. Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Percival SS. Food Science and Human Nutrition Department University of Florida Gainesville, Florida, USA.
The daily consumption of fruits and vegetables is a common dietary recommendation to support good health. We hypothesized that a commercially available encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate could support functional indices of health due to increased intake of various phytonutrients. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled investigation of 59 healthy law students who consumed either fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate or placebo capsules for 77 d. Blood was collected on d 1, 35, and 77 to examine the number of circulating alphabeta- and gammadelta-T cells, cytokine production, lymphocyte DNA damage, antioxidant status, and levels of carotenoids and vitamin C. A log of illnesses and symptoms was also kept. The fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate group tended to have fewer total symptoms than the placebo group. By d 77 there was a 30% increase in circulating gammadelta-T cells and a 40% reduction in DNA damage in lymphocytes in the fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate group relative to the placebo group. Plasma levels of vitamin C and of beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein increased significantly from baseline in the fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate group as did plasma oxygen radical absorptive capacity (50%). Interferon-gamma produced by phorbol-stimulated lymphocytes was reduced 70% in the FVJC group, whereas other cytokines (IL-4, IL-6, transforming growth factor beta) were unchanged relative to treatment or time. Fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate consumption during this study period resulted in increased plasma nutrients and antioxidant capacity, reduction in DNA strand breaks, and an increase in circulating gammadelta-T cells.
Thyroid gland and cancer
I have just read an article by Professor Ian Rowland, University of Ulster, about the protective effects of regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables, - especially watercress, (reduced DNA damage of the blood cells - thus reduction of the risks of cancer development). Cruciferous vegetables are, however, goitrogens, and as such, they do interfere with thyroid function. May I ask you, Sir, about a safe way of a regular dietary intake of fresh watercress (in its natural form, as vegetable), by persons with impaired thyroid functions, please?
3.3,3'-Diindolylmethane, a cruciferous vegetable
derived synthetic anti-proliferative compound in thyroid disease.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005; Tadi K, Chang Y, Ashok BT, Chen Y, Moscatello A, Schaefer SD, Schantz SP, Policastro AJ, Geliebter J, Tiwari RK. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA.
Considerable epidemiological evidence exists to link thyroid disease with differing patterns of dietary consumption, in particular, cruciferous vegetables. We have been studying the anti-thyroid cancer (TCa) activity of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in cruciferous vegetables and its acid catalyzed dimer, 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM). There are no studies as yet to elucidate the effect of these compounds on the altered proliferative patterns in goiter or thyroid neoplasia. In this study, we tested the anti-proliferative effects of I3C and DIM on four different thyroid cancer cell lines representative of papillary (B-CPAP and 8505-C) and follicular carcinoma of the thyroid (CGTH-W-1 and ML-1), and primary human goiter cells. Cell survival and IC50 values for I3C and DIM were calculated by the XTT assay and cell cycle distribution analysis was done by flow cytometry. DIM was found to be a better anti-proliferative agent than I3C in both papillary and follicular TCa resulting in a greater cytotoxic effect at a concentration over three fold lower than predicted by the molar ratio of DIM and I3C. The anti-proliferative activity of DIM in follicular TCa was mediated by a G1 arrest followed by induction of apoptosis. DIM also inhibited the growth of primary goiter cells by 70% compared to untreated controls. Contrary to traditional belief that cruciferous vegetables are "goitrogenic", DIM has anti-proliferative effects in glandular thyroid proliferative disease. Our preclinical studies provide a strong rationale for the clinical exploration of DIM as an adjuvant to surgery in thyroid proliferative disease.
A pooled analysis of case-control studies of thyroid
cancer. VII. Cruciferous and other vegetables (International).
Cancer Causes Control. 2002; Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.
To investigate the association between cruciferous and other vegetables and thyroid cancer risk we systematically reanalyzed the original data from 11 case-control studies conducted in the US, Asia, and Europe. This combined analysis indicates that cruciferous vegetables are not positively related to thyroid cancer risk. Their effect does not seem to be substantially different from that of other vegetables, which appear to be protective on this cancer.
Dr. John Foreyt, of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston thinks vegetable juice drinking helps reduce a person's appetite. In a study, adults who drank at least 8 ounces of vegetable juice as part of a calorie-controlled heart-healthy diet lost 4 pounds over 12 weeks, while those who followed the same diet but did not drink the veggie juice lost only 1 pound. The study was funded in part by the Campbell Soup Company.
Vegetable eating by a baby
A mother can help her baby develop a taste for fruits and vegetables early by eating these foods herself while breastfeeding and, once solids are introduced, by offering her baby these foods regularly, even if the baby is not initially enthusiastic about eating vegetables.
Boiling or microwave?
Dr. A. M. Jimenez-Monreal of the University of Murcia looked at how the ability of 20 different vegetables to neutralize or "scavenge" three types of free radicals was affected by boiling, pressure-cooking, baking, microwaving, griddling, or frying. Effects varied widely among the different foods. Only one vegetable - artichoke -- maintained all of its antioxidant potential no matter how it was cooked. Some veggies actually had increased antioxidant capacity after being cooked in certain ways, for example asparagus after boiling and eggplant after frying. Most cooking methods preserved the antioxidant capacity of green beans, beets and garlic. Every cooking method but boiling increased the antioxidant activity of celery. In general, microwaving or griddling -- heating the vegetable on a heavy skillet without oil -- did the best job of preserving antioxidant activity. Corn was the exception, losing roughly 35 percent of its free-radical scavenging capacity after microwaving.
Dr. A. M. Jimenez-Monreal found boiling and pressure cooking caused the greatest loss of antioxidant capacity, with frying being a little better than these methods and a little worse than microwaving or griddle-cooking. Journal of Food Science, April 2009.
Effect of Different Cooking Methods on Color,
Phytochemical Concentration, and Antioxidant Capacity of Raw and Frozen Brassica
J Agric Food Chem. 2010. Pellegrini N, Chiavaro E, Gardana C, Mazzeo T, Contino D, Gallo M, Riso P, Fogliano V, Porrini M. Department of Public Health, University of Parma, via Volturno Parma, Italy.
This study evaluated the effect of common cooking practices (i.e., boiling, microwaving, and basket and oven steaming) on the phytochemical content (carotenoids, chlorophylls, glucosinolates, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and color changes of three generally consumed Brassica vegetables analyzed fresh and frozen. Among cooking procedures, boiling determined an increase of fresh broccoli carotenoids and fresh Brussels sprout polyphenols, whereas a decrease of almost all other phytochemicals in fresh and frozen samples was observed. Steaming procedures determined a release of polyphenols in both fresh and frozen samples. Microwaving was the best cooking method for maintaining the color of both fresh and frozen vegetables and obtaining a good retention of glucosinolates. During all cooking procedures, ascorbic acid was lost in great amount from all vegetables. Chlorophylls were more stable in frozen samples than in fresh ones, even though steaming methods were able to better preserve these compounds in fresh samples than others cooking methods applied. The overall results of this study demonstrate that fresh Brassica vegetables retain phytochemicals and TAC better than frozen samples.
Q. I am a Registered Dietitian and a Juice Plus Distributor. I have been a distributor for over a year but have recently began doubting the product, the research, the marketing. I am in pursuit of truth and evidence of a the product being as worthy and grand as I am told through the company, doctors within the company, and my upline. Do you have any research, opinions, or analysis of the product being an unbiased source? I would appreciate any feedback that you have as I was impressed with your newsletter that my father forwarded me.
A. We prefer not to comment on products made by other companies. Juice Plus probably has some good fruit and vegetable extracts but we have no idea of the quality control or how it is put together. As a general rule, it is a good idea to not rely exclusively on one product but to alternate different ones. One also wonders whether consuming a few ounces of fresh, mixed vegetables juices provides as good or better amounts of antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, etc, as a dried powder product. There is no clear answer that can be given.
I am taking a whole food supplement called Juice Plus
for almost 3 months now and getting fabulous results. All it is is 17 raw fruits
and veggies and 2 grains that they juice and put in a capsule. I eat well but
knew I was not eating the recommended servings/day so I thought why not try
juice plus. It has made me have so much energy. I was tired by 8 pm before and I
thought it was because I was chasing 3 kids around but I obviously needed some
more nutrition. Just wondered if you have done any research on it. Juice plus
itself has a lot of published research but I wondered if you have tried it.
I have personally not tried it.
I notice savestrols are very much in the news since
the discovery of this vegetable extract by Prof Gerry Potter (Professor of
Medicinal Chemistry at the De Montfort University in Leicester in England. Has
Dr. Sahelian heard of these vegetable extract natural therapeutic discoveries
and will he be incorporating them into his range of herbal products ?
I have not heard of salvestrol or salvestrols. A search in Medline in 2011 did not reveal any studies with salvestrol.