5 Tips for Choosing Perfect Produce

5 May

veggies

When you are eating fruits and vegetables, it is important to take into account the nutritional density of what you are eating.  By choosing correctly at the market, you can assure that you are getting the most nutritional bang for your buck.  Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way to choose not only the tastiest, but the most nutritious produce at the market.

garlic onion

  1. When choosing garlic and onions, choose ones that have the outer wrapping intact.  Also take size into consideration, smaller sized onions contain a greater concentration of nutrients.  Interestingly enough, the skins of the onions are the most nutritious part, so you can save them and use to flavor soups or stews.carrots
  2. Carrots with their green tops attached are fresher and sweeter than those without.  This is also a bonus because you can use the carrot greens in your salads, smoothies or to make a delicious pesto.  However, to find carrots with the greens attached you probably have to visit a farmers market because leaving the greens cause the carrots to dry out faster so many companies remove them before shipping to the supermarkets. potatoes
  3. Potatoes and sweet potatoes with a deeper colored flesh and a darker colored skin are higher in antioxidants.  Sweet potatoes are generally higher in antioxidants and have a lower glycemic index than regular varieties.  Keep in mind that the skin contains 50% of the antioxidants so buy organic, scrub well and eat those skins!tomato
  4. Tomatoes grown organically contain higher levels of vitamin C and the essential antioxidant lycopene.  Look for smaller sized tomatoes with a dark red color, as these will be the richest in lycopene. broccoli
  5. Broccoli should have dark green crowns and tightly closed buds.  You want the stem to be firm and bright green.  Broccoli begins to break down once it is cut, so avoid the pre bagged florets and opt for the whole crowns instead.

Now that you have a few more pieces of information you can hit the markets and choose the vegetables that will give you the most nutritional bang for your buck.  I will soon follow up with important tips on the best way to store and prepare foods as well.  Stay tuned!

 

**A great resource for nutritional information is the World’s Healthiest Food website. Established by the George Mateljan Foundation, this site share scientifically proven information that is independent and not influenced by commercial interests.

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