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Tips For Choosing The Healthiest Produce

Monday, 10 February 2014 22:17  by Charity B.

Carrots

“Baby” carrots are made by whittling away the outer layer of the vegetable, the healthiest part of the root. Try buying full-sized carrots with their tops still attached. Fresh carrots have the highest beta-carotene content, which is converted in the body to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for eye health as well as for strong, healthy hair. However, fresh carrots can be difficult for some people to digest, so try minimally cooked carrots for better beta-carotene absorption.

Kale

Just one serving of this super green food has more calcium than six ounces of milk and more fiber than three slices of whole wheat bread. So if you’re going vegan and/or gluten-free this is a great option. Kale is considered to be one of the healthiest foods you could put in your body due to its high vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content. Try red-leafed varieties such as Red Russian, which contain higher levels of antioxidants.

Cherries

Try Bing cherries, one of the healthiest varieties due to their anthocyanin content. These are antioxidants that give the cherries their pigment, as well as their inflammation and cancer-fighting properties. For the best cherries look at the stem rather than the fruit—bright-greens stems indicate a fresh cherry.

Watermelon

Likes tomatoes, watermelon is packed with the phytonutrient lycopene. Melons with dark red flesh indicate higher levels of this beneficial nutrient. Lycopene helps protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage. It also contains the amino acid citrulline, which the kidneys convert to arginine. Higher levels of arginine increase blood flow and decrease fat accumulation in the cells, and thus improve cardiovascular health.

Beets

Look for dark red beets to get the highest levels of betalaines. These are cancer-fighting compounds that give the plant it’s rich color. These compounds have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support to the body. Unlike some other food pigments, betalains undergo very steady loss from food as the length of cooking time is increased. In fact, the red betalain pigments in beets are far less heat stable than red anthocyanin pigments in red cabbage. Try juicing beets to receive the nutritional benefits without the heat damage.

Peaches

Peaches have a great variety of nutrients, including vitamin C And A, fiber, potassium, lycopene and lutein and more. Usually the darker the fruit or vegetable the higher the nutrient content. However, with peaches the white-fleshed varieties have up to six times more antioxidants than the yellow-fleshed varieties. For the best peaches, purchase them during their peak season from May to September and choose ones with a rosy blush that have a slight give to them when pressed.

Last modified on Monday, 10 February 2014 22:23

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