There is a story in the news today about how some fruits and vegetables may be better for us than others.
And in the Daily Mail’s article, it says “we should broaden our tastes and stock up on kale and blueberries, as well as sweet potatoes and papaya”.
But the evidence does not suggest that fashionable fruits and vegetables such as blueberries and papaya are any better for us than traditional produce like broccoli and carrots.
The important thing is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This is the best way to make sure you are getting as many nutrients as possible.
This coverage is the latest in a long line of stories about so-called “superfoods”. But this is unhelpful because focusing on the nutritional value of particular foods gets away from the well-established message that variety is the most important thing.
There is also the issue of cost because these exotic fruits and vegetables are often more expensive cost more than traditional or locally grown ones. At Sainsbury’s, for example, 150g of blueberries costs £1.99. This means it is over £1 for an 80g portion.
But we have shown that by getting your tactics right, you can get your entire 5 A DAY for as little as 80p.
People do not have a limitless budget when it comes to food shopping. So if they are making an effort to buy things like blueberries, they might end up buying less fruits and vegetables overall as a result.
World Cancer Research Fund advises that plant foods – including fruits and vegetables – should make up the bulk of your diet. This is important for cancer prevention because research has shown that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as other plant foods probably reduces risk of a number of types of cancer, as well as being important for maintaining a healthy weight.
Of course, people should continue having exotic fruits and vegetables if they enjoy eating them. Just don’t think that locally grown or traditional produce is somehow inferior.