Plant foods

People who eat diets rich in plant foods (fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and wholegrain cereals) have substantially lower risks of

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • many major cancers
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • gall-bladder disease
  • diverticulitis cataracts
  • macular degeneration of the eye  (ref Dietary Guidelines)

There are at least 4 reasons why plant foods are so beneficial:

  1. The high fibre content speeds up the process of removing potentially damaging waste from our digestive systems.
  2. Fibrous foods are filling and help prevent overeating and hence aid in weight management.
  3. Soluble fibre found in some plant foods such as oats, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), citrus fruit and carrots can reduce levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and other particles in the blood that affect the development of heart disease and stroke.
  4. They also contain a wide range of phytochemicals (such as antioxidants) essential for chemical reactions that help protect and repair damages that occur throughout life. For example; fruit and vegetables of different colours contain different beneficial vitamins, mineral and antioxidants – which is why it is important to eat as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as you can and include leafy greens every day.

Only 14% of adults on the North Coast eat the minimum recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day. (ref NSW Population Health Survey 2008)

It has been estimated that if all Australians increased their fruit or vegetable consumption by just one serve a day, $180 million would be saved in health care costs nationally.

For more tips on eating more fruit and vegetables

Learn how to cook vegetable-based meals with high protein, low fat, high fibre legumes, lentils and dried beans –

sustain food market vegies