The Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) is aiming to promote regular consumption of fruits and vegetables among Filipino households, especially during this time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The DOST-FNRI cited the importance of adding fruits and vegetables to one’s diet.
"Adding these to your plate can also make your own health “glow”. Fruits and vegetables or “glow” foods, in general, are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen the immune system,” it said.
The Institute cited that several published studies showed that regular consumption of vegetables and fruits helps lower risks of getting cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and bone fractures.
"These are rich in fiber which helps in normal bowel movement, and in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Thus, fruits and vegetables can help prevent lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases, as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” the DOST-FNRI said.
It laments that the vegetable and fruit consumption among Filipinos remained low through the years.
Citing its National Nutrition Surveys (NNS), the DOST-FNRI said household fruit consumption in the country declined from 54 grams in 2003 to only 34 grams in 2018-2019.
Meanwhile, vegetable consumption slowly increased from 111 grams in 2003 to 127 grams in 2018-2019, it added.
To promote consumption of fruits and vegetables, the DOST-FNRI provided the following tips:
-Make sure in every meal half of your plate is composed of vegetables and fruits, with slightly more vegetables than fruits.
-Eat fruits and/or vegetables during snacks.
-Drink fresh fruit juices.
-Start a fruit and vegetable garden at home.
-Parents should be a role model to their children, showing them that fruits and vegetables should be eaten regularly.
The FNRI said regular consumption of fruits and vegetables for adults means eating one piece of medium size fruit or one slice of big fruits such as watermelon, papaya or pineapple —1.5 cups of vegetables for male and one cup of vegetables for female in every meal.
The Institute has developed recipes utilizing indigenous vegetables.
These recipes can be downloaded via the DOST-FNRI website, while the procedure of some recipes can be watched on the DOST-FNRI YouTube channel, it said.