Vegetables and Fruits

  • Giulio Testolin
  • Ambrogina Alberio
  • Ernestina Casiraghi


A characteristic of the Mediterranean diet is the high intake of fruit and vegetables. From the nutritional point of view, the diet is rich in elements such as minerals, fiber, and optimally bioavailable vitamins, plus minor organic substances. Several of these (mineral salts, vitamins, and other organic substances) have pharmacological or protective functions that contribute to maintaining health (Burr and Sveetnam 1982; Acheson and Williams 1983; Gey 1986; Ames 1983). It is interesting to determine how the Mediterranean diet differs from diets typical of other populations, such as those of northern Europeans, who have a high incidence of chronic degenerative diseases. The most noticeable differences between the diets are in fruit and vegetable intake.


Dietary Fiber Mediterranean Diet Fresh Fruit Citrus Fruit Rosmarinic Acid 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acheson, R. M., and D. R. R. Williams. 1983. Does consumption of fruits and vegetables protect against stroke? Lancet 2:1191–1193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agradi, E. 1988. Le basi scientifiche della dieta Mediterranean. Nutrizione e salute. Rome: Verducci.Google Scholar
  3. Ames, B. N. 1983. Dietary carcinogens and anticarcinogens: Oxygen radicals and degenerative disease. Science 221:1256–1264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burr, M. C., and P. M. Sveetnam. 1982. Vegetarianism, dietary fiber, and mortality. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36:673–677.Google Scholar
  5. Carson, J. F. 1987. Chemistry and biological properties of onions and garlic. Food Rev. Internat. 3:71–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cook, J. D., N. C. Noble, T. A. Moveek, S. R. Lynch, and S. J. Petersburg. 1983. Effect of fiber on nonheme iron absorption. Gastroenterology 85:1354–1358.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cresta, M., S. Ledermann, A. Gamier, E. Lombardo, and G. Lacourly. 1969. Etude des consommations alimentaires des populations de onze régions de la communauté européenne en vue de la détermination des niveaux de contamination radioactive. Rapport établi au Centre d’Etude Nucléaire de Fontenay-Aux-Roses, France: EURATOM, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA).Google Scholar
  8. Eurostat. 1970–1985. Rapporti agricoli. In Yearbooks of Agricultural Statistic. Lux- emburg: Office for Official Publications of the European CommunitiesGoogle Scholar
  9. Fidanza, F., and G. Liguori. 1984. Nutrizione Umana. Naples: Idelson.Google Scholar
  10. Gey, H. F. 1986. On the antioxidant hypothesis with regard to arteriosclerosis. Bibl. Nutr. Dieta 37:53–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Istituto Centrale di Statistica. 1960–1985. Annuari statistici italiani. Rome.Google Scholar
  12. Lewis, B., F. Hammett, M. Katan, R. M. Kay, I. Merkz, A. Nobles, N. E. Miller, and A. V. Swan. 1981. Towards an improved lipid-lowering diet: additive effects of changes in nutrient intake. Lancet 2:1310–1313.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lewis, B., M. Mancini, and P. Puska. 1987. Dietary measures for control of lipoprotein risk factors. In Atherosclerosis Biology and Clinical Science, A. G. Olsson, ed., pp. 409–417. New York: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  14. Lintas, C. 1985. Document presented to the meeting of SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition), Pisa.Google Scholar
  15. Machlin, L. J., ed. 1984. Handbook of Vitamins—Nutritional, Biochemical and Clinical Aspects. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.Google Scholar
  16. OCDE. 1985. Food Consumption Statistics. Paris.Google Scholar
  17. Peto, R., R. Doll, J. D. Buckley, and M. B. Sporn. 1981. Can dietary d-carotene materially reduce human cancer rates? Nature 290:201–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shekelle, R. B., M. Lepper, et al. 1981. Dietary vitamin A and risk of cancer in the Western Elective Study. Lancet 2:1189–1190.Google Scholar
  19. Simopulos, A. P., and N. Salem. 1986. Purslane: a terrestrial source of omega-3 fatty acids. New Eng. J. Med. 313:833.Google Scholar
  20. Simopulos, A. P., and N. Salem. 1989. Omega-3 fatty acids in eggs from range-fed Greek chickens. New Eng. J. Med. 320:1412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tonzing, S. 1986. In Botanica,vol. 2. Milan: Ambrosiana.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Testolin
  • Ambrogina Alberio
  • Ernestina Casiraghi

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations