To get the most nutrition out of your fruit and vegetable diet, you need to ensure its freshness and quality. There are several contributors to the loss of nutrients in plant food sources, whether it be in handling, process of cooking, and long storage time. If you want to get the desired nutrients from these food products, you must get started on ways to preserve their freshness to get maximum benefits out of them.
Understanding the Produce’s Life Span
As soon as you harvest fruits and vegetables, their life span eventually begins to deteriorate. Hence, it is important that you handle and store them properly so as not to shorten the period wherein they offer the most nutrients when consumed. You need to educate yourself on certain types of fruits or vegetables and when it is most reasonable to eat them.
The process of cooking could also contribute to reducing the amount of nutrition that your body can get when you eat these vegetables. That is why others prefer to eat raw fruits and vegetables because the nutrients are still present in them.
Fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional content due to its own enzymes and that is part of its natural process.
Preserving Their Freshness
If you want to preserve not only the freshness of fruits and vegetables but also its nutritional content, you need to observe proper ways of storing them. Here are practical tips you can apply at home:
– Do not harvest a particular fruit or vegetable unless you are ready to use them. There is no use storing them in the refrigerator because although you are lengthening its life span, it still deteriorates. Hence, you are still losing lots of nutrients in the process.
– You can lengthen the life of your produce by lowering the temperature. Hence, cooking is often considered as a contributor to loss of nutrients in plant food sources. Hence, many use the hydro cooling process wherein vegetables are placed into icy water right after harvest. Meanwhile, always harvest your produce in the morning because the temperature is still at its lowest.
– Opt for organically grown produce. When you purchase your vegetables in the market, you have no clue as to how long it has been stored at room temperature. Hence, you cannot be assured of its quality.
Storage of Vegetables
Most households use about the same types of fruits or vegetables. Therefore, you need to know how long you can keep them in your refrigerator and when it is no longer safe to consume. Below is a list of vegetables with their potential storage life:
1. Very Perishable – parsley, peaches, lettuce, spinach, kale, endive, Chinese cabbage
2. Moderately Perishable – apricots, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, sweet peppers
3. Durable – beets, lemon, apple, squash, carrot, oranges, cabbage
Strategies To Get More Nutrients
Since the deterioration process of fruits and vegetables are part of their natural process, it is inevitable. However, you can follow certain strategies in order to maximize the nutritional content of these food sources. That way, your body could also get the optimum potential from these nutrients, which in turn your body needs.
Preparing juice out of most fruits or vegetables is an effective way to deal with the limited storage potential of these substances. Moreover, it has a longer storage period as compared to the fruit or vegetable in itself. To those practicing a vegetarian diet, this is a great way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables instead of eating large quantities of whole fruits or vegetables.
Meanwhile, the juice therapy is good for your digestive system. Because it is in liquid form, it is easier for the system to digest as compared to solid foods.
Freshness & Quality: The Importance
Freshness of food is equal to more nutrition. Therefore, health-conscious vegetarians need to look into this more closely. Are you eating vegetables or fruits without even bothering about how long they have been in your fridge? After all, you cannot ensure that the food consumed provides the necessary nutrients your body needs.
The cells in your body are under a continuous process of dying and being replaced. In order to produce new cells to repair those dead ones, your body utilizes adequate nourishment in terms of fiber, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, it is detrimental to your health when you lack these nutrients. Several harmful effects include skin sores, fever, premature graying of your hair and belly aches.
You need to be more precise about your choices of plant food sources. By taking in lots of quality fruits and vegetables, your body will experience the goodness of these food substances in caring for your body the natural way.