The best way to ensure you are getting the most nutrients possible is to eat vegetables and fruits as close to coming off the vine or branch as possible. So be sure to take advantage of any local, fresh vegetables and fruits in your area!
The longer vegetables and fruits are off the vine or branch the more breakdown of nutrients occur. While buying fresh produce at the grocery store is good, this produce is often picked weeks earlier in another state or country meaning it’s been sitting for weeks of the vine or branch and is constantly losing more and more nutrients. For this reason planting your own produce or buying from a local farmer or farmer’s market is the best way to ensure it’s fresh and has the most nutrients possible.
Fresh then frozen, then dried, canned and juice last
Fresh is best followed by frozen which is actually a great alternative to fresh. This is especially true when a vegetable or fruit is out of season. Because of the way produce is frozen, minimal nutrients are actually lost in the process (make sure there is no added sugar). Dried fruit with no added sugar comes in third followed by dried fruit with added sugar. Next are canned vegetables and fruits because they usually have added sugar and salt. And in last place is juice, which actually counts towards your 10% of unhealthy food. To recap, the hierarchy for vegetables and fruits goes like this: fresh off the branch or vine, then frozen, dried, canned and juice.
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About the Author
LifestyleHealth12 was developed by Rich Millar (MPH, CPT) who received his Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and his Master’s Degree in Public Health and has over 15 years of experience in nutrition consulting, personal training, health coaching, employee wellness, and Health Care Administration.