You’re probably eating more fruits and vegetables every day. Eating your way towards a healthier diet. Are you sure you’re getting the most nutritional value from them? What can you do to improve how many nutrients you are getting?
Let’s take a deeper look at the trip that most fruits and vegetables make to get to your table.
Transportation Affects The Nutritional Value of Your Produce
Consider the time and traveling conditions of the fruits and vegetables you are purchasing.
The shorter the time frame that the fruit is packed until it reaches your table the better. If you have a home garden, try to pick your vegetables early in the morning for peak flavor and nutritional value. The next best choice is to use a local farm stand or farmers’ market. Generally the foods they are selling were picked within a few hours of being set out for sale.
If there are no local markets in your area, you’re forced to shop at a supermarket.
Before the fruit and veggies reach your local supermarket it must first be picked and packaged. If produce is from the same state or neighboring state, it was probably picked within 48 hours of reaching the stores shelves. But if the produce is making its way from California to New York, it was probably picked 7-10 days ago. The less time produce spends in transit, the more nutritional value it has.
The second biggest contributor is handling. If care is taken not to bruise or damage the produce, the longer it will last. But if produce is bounced around in a semi or on a rail car traveling across state lines, chances are it will get damaged. The more care shown in handling, the more nutritional value.
Buying as locally as possible is the best way to ensure the nutritional value of the produce you buy. The fruit and vegetables are picked at their height of ripeness; not days or weeks before. Handling is kept to a minimum. The produce goes straight from the plant or tree to a basket, with you being the next person to touch it 🙂
Need Help With The Nutritional Value of Your Produce?
Do you have any recipes for the nutritious fruits and veggies you find at the market that you’d like to share or are looking for? Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form on the right or on my Contact page. I’d be happy to speak with you.
And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂
Enjoy and Be Healthy!