PHYTONUTRIENTS CONSUMPTION IN INDIA
Fruits and vegetables are the major sources of phytonutrients. The World Health Organization (WHO) panel on diet nutrition and prevention of chronic diseases recommend a daily intake of at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables – excluding potato, cassava and other starchy tubers – to prevent dietrelated chronic diseases and micronutrient deficiencies.
Unfortunately, the Indian diet pattern is devoid of fruits and vegetables. On an average, fruits and vegetables account for only nine per cent of the caloric intake. Banana is the most frequently consumed fruit and potato is the most commonly consumed vegetable – both are not very rich sources of phytonutrients. Many youngsters (18 to 25 years old) fail to incorporate fruits and vegetables in their diet, while middle-aged people tend to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables only after contracting a disease.