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Get the Most From Fruits and Vegetables

Fitness for mind and body.

Get the most bang for you grocery buck from your fruits and vegetables -- both nutritionally and financially! Just follow these suggestions...

Get the Most From Fruits and Vegetables

1.  Buy the freshest produce you can find. Pass over produce bruised, cracked, punctured or soft fruit. Such blemishes harbor germs and soft produce is overripe.

2.  Check all produce before storing it. Pick through berries, discarding any that are mushy, fuzzy or wet. Cut grapes into clusters, removing shriveled fruit. Discard the outer leaves of vegetables if they are wilted and remove parts that are discolored.

3.  Do not wash produce before you store it. Moist produce molds quickly.

4.  Refrigerate produce loose or in perforated plastic bags. Fruits and vegetables breathe, taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide just as humans do. Do not seal them in plastic bags. As temperature drops, the respiration rate falls, so refrigerated produce lasts longer. The exceptions: tomatoes, tropical fruits (bananas, avocados, mangoes) and hardier vegetables (potatoes, onions, winter squashes), which prefer warmer temperatures.

5.  Store fruits and vegetables in separate stacking bin. Many fruits including apples, pears and tomatoes, produce ethylene, a ripening gas that changes the taste and texture of vegetables. In general, vegetables like moister air than fruits. If produce gets limp, boost the humidity; if you see mold, lower it.

6.  Handle produce sparingly until you use it. As soon as you start cutting into it and removing seeds, it becomes more vulnerable to spoilage.

7.  Wash produce before you bite or cut into it. All fruits and vegetables sport bacteria on outer surfaces.

8.  When in doubt, throw it out. You cannot salvage some produce; it is better off in your compost heap than in your stomach.

9.  To test fruit for ripeness, stick a toothpick in the fruit at the stem end. If it goes in and out clean and with ease, the fruit is ripe and can be eaten.

Don't Peel Away the Nutrients

There are great fiber and nutritional advantages and almost no risk of chemical residues in eating unpeeled fruit. The FDA reports that, during annual random produce testing, 99 percent of the produce is either residue-free or well below EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) limits.

Organic Produce?

It's worth it. Conventional fruits and vegetables are often grown in low nutrient soil and may come in contact with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and sewage sludge. Here are just a few ways eating organic is worth your hard-earned money.

  • Reduce exposure to cadmium, a toxic metal in fertilizer, by up to 48 percent when you choose organic. (Source: British Journal of Nutrition)
  • Get up to 40 percent more antioxidants eating organic produce than conventional. An all organic diet delivers the equivalent of two extra servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Lower pesticide levels by up to 65 percent - that's how much higher levels of a pesticide breakdown product were in the urine of people who regularly ate conventional produce, according to a recent study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Freebie! Why are Fruits and Vegetables Important?

This is a free PDF document you can download right now (no strings) to learn more about how to get the most from fruits and vegetables. This document is six pages long and includes valuable information, a '5 A Day' score sheet, tips, an action plan and an activity sheet. All aimed toward helping you and your loved ones get more fruits and vegetables in your daily diets! Simply click the picture below to download.

Why are Fruits and Vegetables Important Thumbnail

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.