Nowadays there is an increasing interest among consumers on how food products can contribute to their health. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and dental disease are a growing burden to which, in 2001, worldwide, approximately 59% of the reported deaths and 46% of the diseases could be attributed. Due to shifting dietary patterns together with decreased physical activity, these numbers are expected to increase. Diet is assumed to play a key role as a risk factor for chronic diseases (1). High intake of fruits and vegetables has been widely acknowledged in epidemiological research to have a protective effect against various cancers (2, 3, 4), and to provide protection against cardiovascular disease (5, 6, 7). However, in a recent large prospective study (with a follow-up of 5.4 years) no association was found between total or specific vegetable and fruit intake with breast cancer risk (8), and in another prospective study (follow up of 12–14 years) no association between fruit and vegetable intake (either total or of any particular group) and overall cancer incidence was observed (7). In the last study an association with protection against cardiovascular diseases was confirmed.
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