Epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in fruits and vegetables (F&V) are protective against CVD. Puréed F&V products retain many beneficial components, including flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C and dietary fibres. The present study aimed to establish the physiological effects of acute ingestion of a F&V purée-based drink (FVPD) on vasodilation, antioxidant status, phytochemical bioavailability and other CVD risk factors. A total of twenty-four subjects, aged 30–70 years, completed the randomised, single-blind, controlled, crossover test meal study. Subjects consumed 400 ml of the FVPD, or a fruit-flavoured sugar-matched control, after following a low-flavonoid diet for 5 d. Blood and urine samples were collected throughout the study day, and vascular reactivity was assessed at 90 min intervals using laser Doppler iontophoresis. The FVPD significantly increased plasma vitamin C (P= 0·002) and total nitrate/nitrite (P= 0·001) concentrations. There was a near significant time by treatment effect on ex vivo LDL oxidation (P= 0·068), with a longer lag phase after consuming the FVPD. During the 6 h after juice consumption, the antioxidant capacity of plasma increased significantly (P= 0·003) and there was a simultaneous increase in plasma and urinary phenolic metabolites (P< 0·05). There were significantly lower glucose and insulin peaks after ingestion of the FVPD compared with control (P= 0·019 and 0·003) and a trend towards increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation following FVPD consumption (P= 0·061). Overall, FVPD consumption significantly increased plasma vitamin C and total nitrate/nitrite concentrations, with a trend towards increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Puréed F&V products are useful vehicles for increasing micronutrient status, plasma antioxidant capacity and in vivo NO generation, which may contribute to CVD risk reduction.