Mo' Berries and Tomatoes

Here with some of our favorite berry go-to's and one of the most eaten vegetables in America (and let's not kid ourselves - probably Italy too).

-RED, RED, RED Tomatoes FTW (have the greatest nutritional value) and are generally more nutritious than yellow, gold, or green tomatoes
- The smaller the tomato, the HIGHER its sugar and lycopene (potential antioxidant) content - use these for the most flavor and the most benefits
-Be wary of 'on-the-vine' and 'heirloom' tomatoes. Taste to justify whether it is worth the increase in price. No significant increase in phytonutrient benefits.
-Processed tomato products can be more flavorful and nutritious than fresh tomatoes. These are ripened in the field and processed shortly after being harvested. Canned tomato paste, for example, contains the highest concentration of lycopene.
-Cooking tomatoes converts lycopene into an easily absorbed form - as well as concentrating the flavor. 
-Use the skin, seeds, and juice of the tomato whenever possible as those are the most nutritious parts!

-Strawberries, Cranberries, and Raspberries-
-Always pick the red, ripe berries that are uniform in color - the fresher the better (farmer's markets or U-pick farms the best). 
-Eat within a few days (storing them for a day on the counter before eating, increases their antioxidant value, however)
-Freeze as discussed with blueberries in a previous post (Vit. C/powdered pectin and microwave thaw)

-Eat throughout the year - very high in antioxidants!!
-Dried are less nutritious than fresh
- Unsweetened juice (no cocktails or juice blends) has shown to be beneficial

-High in Fiber and antioxidants!
-Look for DARK RED or BLACK varieties

Remember, feel free to click on the post titles and comment with any questions or if you are interested in anything more from this post of this blog. Thanks for reading!

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Are all fruits and vegetables created equal?

In short, 'No'.

Over the next few weeks I am going to do everything in my power to post about AT LEAST ONE fruit or vegetable family (or one of each) EVERY DAY. The reason? Because of the question posed above. 

Since we became an agricultural society (many, many years ago) we have done a  lot of damage to the nutrients we find in our fruits and vegetables. The result? A problem that seems to contradict everything we know about the healthiness of these wonderful foods. 

As the saying goes, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'

...umm not quite. The thing is, certain fruits and vegetables have lost some OR MOST of their nutritional value due to our way of modifying, growing, transporting, storing, or cooking our food. These next posts are meant to breakdown some of the findings regarding which fruits/vegetables have retained their beneficial properties; which variations of fruits and vegetables should be focused on at grocery stores/markets; and which storing/cooking methods should be used to maximize these nutrients. 

To keep the post short, today we will only talk about Leafy Greens

1) Look for the darker colored (more bitter) loose-leaf varieties of lettuce/greens (but when compared to bagged greens, heads of lettuce win in level of phytonutrients)

2) To preserve nutrient levels, preparation after purchase can change the game. Soak lettuce for ten minutes in very cold water - dry - store in pin-pricked sealed bag to maximize nutrients whilst stored. 

3) If using bags of mixed greens, look for most colorful combination of freshest leaves.


This information has been pulled from "Eating on the Wild Side" by Jo Robinson. An amazing resource to check out if you don't want to wait for posts. Hope you enjoyed!


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