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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Filipinos need more fruits and vegetables

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There was a time when many Filipinos were heavy consumers of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Apparently, not anymore and most likely culprit is that the lifestyle of many Filipinos have become too fast-paced that led them more susceptible to lots of diseases.

Dr. Liezl Marinay-Atienza, a registered nutritionist and dietician, in her recent talk at the 42nd Annual Series of Seminars on Food and Nutrition Researches organized by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) strongly urged Filipinos to go back to consuming more fruits and vegetables again and get back to healthier lives.

Dr. Atienza, who is an assistant professor at the Nutritional Sciences Division, Institute of Human Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños in Laguna, said on the average, people should consume at least five servings—around 80 grams per serving—of fruits and vegetables every day. She is saddened by the facts that even on a global level, consumption of these vital food groups is low.

 “In Asia alone, three out of four people do not eat the prescribed amount of fruits and vegetables, consuming only around 100 grams on the average. Some developed countries like Australia and the US consume around 300 grams. In the Philippines, the situation is also the same,” Dr. Atienza said.

Nutritionist and dietitian Liezl Marinay-Atienza, PhD says a person should consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily

She said most Filipinos are held back from eating vegetables and fruits because of several reasons. High price is one reason, plus possible contamination of pesticides, and lack of knowledge of their benefits. She also cited a recent survey by Monitor International where in Asia, among the reasons cited for low consumption of fruits and vegetables is urban migration, busy lifestyles, increase in number of people who live alone and therefore have no time to cook since they are mostly tired after coming home from work, and an aging/elderly population who have not much time to cook as well.

“Given these, people are mostly going after conveniently prepared food, which are mostly non-fruits and vegetables. As a nutritionist, I recommend that people eat whole and fresh fruits and vegetables, those rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that help prevent diseases.”

She also suggested that for certain people who cannot consume fruits and vegetables because of digestion concerns may also try juicing and blending to meet the required nutritional needs. “Juicing can be an alternative way of making people with difficulty digesting to eat fruits and vegetables so they can enjoy its benefits, “said Dr. Atienza.

The seminar series of FNRI, which carried the theme “First 1,000 Days of a Child’s Life: Interventions through Research, Services and Technologies,” was a success and the participants learned a lot from the speakers. Part of Atienza’s discussion highlight was the benefits of juicing for a mother and child’s nutritional concerns. There was also a presentation on quick and easy juicing plus delicious and nutritious juicing recipes using local fruits courtesy of Breville Juice Fountain, one of the event sponsors. 

Breville Juice Fountain has an effective system that retains 70 percent more nutrients of fruits and vegetables

Unlike any other fast juicer, Breville retains up to 70 percent more nutrients (see details from and makes at least two glasses of healthy juice in just a minute. It has 25 percent extra-wide feed chute that can feed tubes that can fit bigger fruits and vegetables so there’s no need to chop fruits into small bits, with a jug capacity of 1 liter to 1.2 liters and comes with full variable speed technology to control the speed. It has extractors that eject the dry pulp into an external basket during the juicing process and Patented Juicing Systems that retains up to 70 percent more nutrients. 

For more information on Breville juicers and other products, visit


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