Now that many parts of “first world countries” have managed to resolve recurring shortage of food by growing abundant crops, fruits and vegetables. In a way, it is a great thing. People can easily afford fruits and vegetables now. However, even though this is a great thing, a new problem has raised. The fruits and vegetables cultivated now are less nutritious than those were 50 years back.
And that is not something you want to hear in 2017. We live in a world of advanced science and technology and it is not okay for us to eat fruits and vegetables less nutritious than those were before. The amount of minerals in the fruits and vegetables are declining from 5 to 40 percent. And almost similar level of decline in vitamin and protein levels are noted.
This discovery has led to an initial stir among people and they were having second thoughts about consuming fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists say, these dire consequences of poor farming practices are doing big damage. The higher doses of pesticides and herbicides are fiddling with the natural ability of plants to ward off insects and weeds. And the sabotaged health of plants is resulting in less than nutritious fruits and vegetables.
However, nutritionists are also concerned that how it will discourage people from consuming fruits and vegetables. And they suggest that, even though the fruits and vegetables are less nutritious, still people should consume what they have. Because we need the nutrition from different food groups.
However, there are few ways you can optimize the nutrition intake from food and vegetables.
Closer the Better: Local over “Parceled”
When you are buying fruits and vegetables, try to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. Because the les time those fruits and vegetables travel, the fewer nutrients are lost. So, it is wise to buy seasonal, fresh produces from local farmer’s market. And it is a good practice to grow fruits and vegetables in your home if that is an option.
Let It Go: FROZEN is the New FRESH!
On the contrary of popular perception, frozen produce is not necessarily less nutritious than fresh ones. Actually, in some cases, vegetables frozen right after the harvest save more nutrients than the “fresh” ones that takes quite a time to make way to your plate.
Stop Judging Books By Cover and Veggies By the Appearance!
Don’t get hoodwinked by the looks of “fresh” and “shiny” veggies! Foods aren’t supposed to be photogenic. We aren’t supposed to eat picture perfect fruits and vegetables drawn by artists in still life paintings. In real world, it is not wise to fall for the shiny, plump and evenly shaped fruits and veggies. Sure, the commercially farmed apples will look way big better and spotless. But you surely are smarter than Snow White to know that, those are laced with insecticides.
Keep Those Rough: Save your Chopping Skills for Karate Lessons!
Keeping chopping to minimum saves more nutrients (and time). Because finer the chopping, the exposure of fruits and veggies to oxygen is higher. And such exposure leads to oxidation, which lowers the level of nutrients in food.
Time is Nutrient: Minimize Cooking Time!
Apart some exceptions, generally the less time spent in cooking the veggies, and/or fruits, less nutrients are lost. And unless it is necessary, it is better to eat those raw. And the less water needed to cook the better. That is why steaming, stir frying and blanching are healthier ways to cook.
So, it is not necessarily impossible to cook/eat fruits and vegetables with considerable amount of nutrients. Just be a little more careful with shopping, preparing and eating practices and you will be just fine!