Vegetables and fruits are an essential source of vitamins and minerals for the body. But how to keep them always fresh, especially to ensure their nutrients. Let’s “pocket” some tips later!
1. Do not wash vegetables and fruits immediately
In most cases, vegetable washing stimulates spoilage and accelerates the process of mold formation. Therefore, you should only wash vegetables and fruits right before eating, you should not wash, then put them in the refrigerator and eat them a few days later. This washing process removes the outer layer of protection, making vegetables and fruits ripen faster, especially fruits belonging to the strawberry family.
2. Buy vegetables and fruits from local people
Buying fruits and vegetables directly from farmers will reduce time for transit and storage, thus preserving more nutrients. Their prices are usually cheaper than buying from supermarkets.
3. If you do not plan to eat immediately, you should buy frozen fruits
Comparative studies of frozen fruits and fresh fruits indicate that frozen fruits can retain more nutrients than fresh fruits as long as they are frozen immediately after being harvested.
According to a study at the American Food Institute, fresh beans can lose about 45% of nutrients, broccoli and white broccoli can lose about 25%, carrots lose 10% of nutritional value. It means that frozen beans can contain more vitamin C than fresh beans about 30% and frozen green beans may contain more than 45% of the nutritional value compared to fresh green beans.
Another study published in 2007 in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture also confirmed this. Researchers believe that losing nutrients from fresh vegetables and fruits during storage and cooking may be more than we think. Depending on the type of item, the canning process and the freezing process may help to retain more nutritional values.
Therefore, if you do not intend to eat the fruits and vegetables that you are about to buy and if you plan to put them in the refrigerator for a few days before you eat, it is best to buy frozen vegetables and fruits.
4. Buy young vegetables and fruits
Young vegetables and fruits will have more nutrients than old ones. Research has shown that young vegetable leaves will have many biological active ingredients and higher levels of nutrients than older leaves. It is true for cruciferous vegetables.
5. Buy mushrooms that are exposed to light
Traditional fungi often contain very little or no vitamin D, but those grown under UV light can turn sterol ergosterol plant into vitamin D. You can also expose the types of mushrooms at home, let them be exposed to light. On some product labels, they are noted that these are types of mushrooms exposed to UV rays.
6. Drink fruit juice immediately
If you’re preparing fruit juice, you can plan to save time by making the fruit juice enough to make two glasses of water, then put a cup in the fridge to wait for a while to drink. However, you do not know that the second juice cup will not be as nutritious as the first cup. Ideally, you should drink fruit juice as soon as you are done.
7. Think carefully before cooking
Cooking process can destroy carotenoids with antioxidant effects such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Boiling will make these substances more soluble in water and overcooked (in any ways) also loses nutrients of destroyed cells.
To keep as many nutrients as possible, you can steam, stir-fry or fry over and cover the pot tightly when possible. In general, nutrients will be retained more if food is less exposed to water, short cooking time and less exposed to heat. You should cook fruits and vegetables when shelled. You should not wash the nuts too thoroughly, such as rinsing rice thoroughly unless instructed to do so. Excessive washing can lose about 25% of vitamin B1.