So, fruits and vegetables are a staple in your diet. The question is, does buying and eating fruit and veggies enough in order to get the most out of them?
My simple answer to this: you can lock in the most nutrition when they are selected and stored properly. This way, you will be able to get the most nutritional benefits from them.
How do these nutrients from fruits and vegetables get lost, anyway? Well, for starters, if they aren’t handled properly they lose their nutritional value.
Have you heard people tell you not to overcook your veggies? There’s a reason for that and it’s not just because you don’t want to be snacking on a soggy carrot. It’s because when you cook your veggies at a shorter time and at moderate temperature, the higher the chance of your vegetables to keep those nutrients in. Also, if you expose your fruits and veggies to air, light, and water, their nutrients might be lost, too.
How To Shop for Fruits And Veggies
Of course, you want them fresh. Look for fruits and vegetables that have little to no blemishes + soft spots. They have to be firm, plus veer away from dull-looking ones.
If your fruits are in season, the better. If you buy watermelon while it’s out of season, it might not taste good and you might not be getting the most nutrients out of it. The more locally sourced it is, the better since it doesn’t have to go through from transport to transport. Meaning, not many nutrients lost.
Note that when you freeze your fruits and vegetables, the higher the chance of them retaining their nutrients.
Preparing Your Fruits and Vegetables
Make it a point to wash them lightly – avoid soaking. Don’t sleep on the skins or peels of fruits such as apples, cucumbers, and carrots – they are good sources of vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Cooking Your Fruits and Vegetables
To retain their nutrients, use as little water as possible. You can also opt for steaming as it preserves water-soluble vitamins B and C.
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