Looking at the different issues that show up in our life today in the way of illnesses and other interesting ailments, it got me thinking. Being a health ambassador, promoting healthy living and lifestyle, eating food is a big component to staying healthy and fit. I have been supporting people from varies places for a couple of years now and what I have noticed is that most of them have similar issues. Even though I make complete changes on diet and lifestyle according to your unique body type, after sometime the same people need guidance again. What one used to eat and consume may not have the same benefit on the body to maintain health.
Research by specialists shows that nutrients in fruits and vegetables are declining due to the fact that agriculture has changed. If there was a specific amount of plants or crop on a piece of land, this quantity has doubled. What this means is that the soil was able to contribute more to a certain crop or plant where now it has to give the same amount of nutrients to more than one crop or plant. Resulting in decrease of quality. So, to still produce similar looking crop, farmers are using all sorts of outer chemicals to fool the eyes of the consumer. Ever thought why the fruit you get from your backyard tastes better than the one you buy in the grocery?
Anyhow, knowing that the decrease of valuable nutrients in fruit has an effect on our body, nutritionists and dietitians promote eating more fruits with all different nutrients combinations, so the body gets a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Let’s be real! Eating more? Is that really the solution?
Here are a few ways to get the most out of your fruits and veggies:
- Eat locally grown – Getting more nutrients is eating food that spends less time traveling from the field to your table. You can do that in two ways; buy fresh, whole and locally grown; or plant in your own garden. Avoid produce that travels the least amount of time. Vitamins and nutrients are lost over time and also when we cook food.
- Frozen can be a better choice – Our natural instinct is to choose fresh over frozen because we think it is always better. Sometimes the veggies frozen right away after harvest retain more nutrients than the fresh veggies.
- Big and beautiful is not always the best – Big, shiny fruits and vegetables grab our attention for sure, but it may not be better. They look so pretty and attractive probably because they are full of pesticides and other chemicals to help them look so nice.
- Serve big chunks – When we serve fruits and veggies, the best way to consume them is by cutting and serving them in bigger, rougher pieces. The moment cut fruit or veggies are exposed to air, it starts losing the nutrients. Keep chopping to a minimum.
- Minimum cooking time – When we cook fruit and veggies, they also lose valuable nutrients. This is one reason why raw is recommended over cooked with exceptions of certain foods. If you are cooking your food, avoid adding too much water. You want to keep the crunchiness of the veggies, this way you also keep the nutrients. Never overcook or boil in water until soggy.
Even though we may not find fruits and vegetables as nutrient-rich as they were 50 years ago, with the rise of local farmers and organically grown, seasonal choices are getting easier to find and more delicious than big mass production.