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Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Benefits of Eating Fresh Foods, Fruits and Vegetables

In Nigeria it is a normal practice to cook food and store in the refrigerator so you do not need to cook every day. But this is even out of fashion these days because of the epileptic power supply in the country. And so what do you do? As a result people have now resorted even to a worse routine – heating up and re-heating food so it does not go sour. But this pattern only helps in killing off most of the vital nutrients especially vitamins and antioxidants that you require for healthy living. And then, we buy fruits and also store them on the shelf or locker. Expert nutritionists say this is no right either.

Eat fresh foods

The point being stressed here is that as much as possible, you should try to ‘eat fresh’ as long as you can afford to do so. When you store your foods like fruits and vegetables for so long on the ‘shelf’ they actually lose certain amounts of vital vitamins and essential minerals. According to Dr. Don Colbert – American board certified family practitioner and anti-ageing medical expert/nutritionist, Grapes for example “can lose about 1/3 of their B vitamins, and tangerines can lose up to half their vitamins C when left on the counter for a long time; Asparagus also can lose up to 90% of its vitamin C.”

Also, do you know that your meat can lose up to 50% of its thiamine and riboflavin content, and even 70% of pantothenic acid in it when you freeze? Studies confirm that as being a fact. The same goes for especially your fruits and vegetables. And so it is advantageous to always eat your foods fresh; but this does not include your meat – it’s just the fruits and vegetables, because there may be a school of thought that believes in eating everything raw including meat!
Do not store foods for long 

Besides, buying and eating fresh foods is another way of ensuring that preservatives, dyes and other artificial additives such as hormones, artificial flavours, sugars and chemicals, are not part of your foods. And definitely, we all know that fresh foods taste better because of the presence of the various food nutrients still fresh in them; you will in addition, benefit more by eating foods that have not been depleted in nutritional quality and content. 

Another food fact you need to hear is that the use of microwave ovens do not help either; microwaves actually alter the chemical make-ups of your foods just the way food preservatives and additives behave – making it hard for your system to digest your foods.

Bottom line is - cut your fruits and vegetables just before you are ready to eat them so as to get the full benefits of the nutrients in them. This is because once they are sliced open and kept, they become exposed to begin to lose vital nutrients to the atmosphere “such as vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B12, biotin and vitamins D, E, K, & A” Dr. Colbert says. The same treatment should also be carried out on foods that you are about to cook.

Prepare - to eat now, fresh

Food cooked and eaten soon is also richer and tastes better than food that you store in the refrigerator to be consumed later or over a period of time. It also follows therefore that when you store foods in the fridge you do that at about 4 degrees centigrade; you should keep frozen foods at below -17 degree centigrade so that they can still retain the nutrients in them and not lose essential vitamins, etc.

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