According to a new study, only 1 in 10 adults are consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

The American federal guidelines state that 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day is necessary for a healthy diet. It was revealed that only 9.3% of people met the standard for vegetable intake, while only 12.2% did for fruit.

The author of the study explains how these low numbers increase the risk of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. He says the public are “missing out on the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that fruits and vegetables provide”.

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Fruit and vegetables provide rich nutrition for maintaining health and preventing disease. For instance, blueberries contain vitamin K which prevents heart disease, vitamin C which protects immune health, and manganese, which prevents osteoporosis.

Broccoli contains vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, potassium and folate, which also work on digestive health, cell maintenance, nerve function and lowering cholesterol.

The NHS support the 5 A Day guideline. Arguably, this is most easily achieved when consuming a vegan diet, a diet that centres around fruit and vegetables. Research has suggested there needs to be a greater focus on nutrition and plant-based eating to combat rising instances of disease.

A comeback of scurvy was reported after countries were not consuming enough fruit, and doctors have even begun writing prescriptions for fruit and vegetable intake.

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A vegan diet allows for a better focus on nutrition. In 2015, meat was classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation. Studies have increasingly linked meat consumption to heart disease, cancer, and other major diseases.

In support of plant based diets, research has also found that increased consumption of vegetables is associated with lower rates of heart disease, and more medical professionals have begun recommending a vegan diet.

If adults continue to neglect fruit and vegetables, it could lead to even more cases of chronic diseases.