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Nutrition

Pick a Pair Of Pickled Peppers: How to Pick Your Produce

We all know that fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of our diet if we want to live a healthy and vibrant life.  But how many of us struggle to get them in day in and day out?  I do not know about you, but I never seem to get enough in everyday.   

Getting into the habit of preparing fruits and vegetables at every meal, even for snacks, can help to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.  

If you want increased energy and a way to improve your mood, try these natural wonders!  Fruits and vegetables are full of so many nutrients that it really is  foolish to avoid them.  Let's learn how to shop for produce:  what to look for and what to avoid.  Sometimes just knowing  what to look for helps us find it!

As a rule, try to get in produce of different colors into your diet.  Not only are they pleasing to the eye and make a beautiful plate, but can also guarantee that you get a variety of your healthy vitamins and minerals.  Below are some tips to help you shop for produce in order to maximize your nutrition.

1.  Buy fresh- Fresh vegetables and fruits that are fresh still have all their nutrients.  The longer they sit  around, the more nutrients are lost (especially vitamin A and C).

2.  Timing is everything- Ripe vs. not ripe.  Using your produce today? Buy them ripe.  If you are using them  down the line, go for ones not as ripe.  This will help your shelf life and avoid wasting money by throwing old produce away.

3.  Choose bright colors- Intense color = intense nutrients.

4.  Run from produce that does not look quite right- Bruised and wilted?  Better to pass.

5.  Big vs. small- Smaller fruits and vegetables have a tendency to be sweeter than their larger counterparts.

6.  Select produce yourself- Try to avoid buying fruits and veggies already packaged.  It's better if you can pick each piece of produce yourself to guarantee you are getting the best.

7.  Check the weight- Produce with high water content like tomatoes and citrus fruits should feel heavy.

I personally buy produce grown organically and put them in "Green Bags" to keep them fresher longer.  Organic produce carries with it more nutrients and more flavor.  A tomato actually tastes like a tomato!  But whether you buy conventional or organic produce, fruits and vegetables are vitally important to your long-term health.
 
So got ahead: try the tips above and begin to add flavor to your meals with delicious  fruits and vegetables!


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