| GEO Health|
| Fruit, vegetables not necessarily best: research|
| Updated at: 1034 PST, Wednesday, April 28, 2010|
NEW YORK: Our favourite fruits and vegetables are not necessarily the best for us, researchers said.
The most popular fruit and vegetables which people eat as part of their daily diet may not be the healthiest, doctors warn, rather than making up our five-a-day with foods we know and like, we should broaden our tastes and stock up on kale and blueberries, as well as sweet potatoes and papaya. Not only will our palates appreciate the variety, they are better for us than carrots, oranges and other favourites.
The researchers focused on phytonutrients - plant compounds believed to boost the health of the eyes, bone, heart, brain and immune system, cutting the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
They say that although carrots are rich in beta-carotene - a building block of flu-fighting vitamin A sweet potatoes contain nearly twice as much.
Similarly, while it is easy to start the day with a glass of orange juice, a handful of papaya contains 15 times more beta-cryptoxanthin - another vitamin A building block.
Dr Keith Randolph, of U.S. vitamin pill manufacturer, said that while it was well known that many people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, even those who ate the recommended five-a-day could do better.