Rule # 1: Chill out

Women's Health (South Africa) - - BEST BODY -

If you’re only hit­ting up the fresh aisles at the su­per­mar­ket, you might be miss­ing out Blue­ber­ries in your overnight oats, daily desk-based buf­fets of car­rot cru­dités... Way to nail those serv­ings of fruit and veg­gies. But where you buy and store the good stuff might be nearly as im­por­tant as eat­ing it at all. Frozen ac­tu­ally beat out fresh in terms of nutri­tional con­tent for vi­ta­min C, be­tac­arotene and fo­late in eight types of pro­duce, one study found. And this isn’t the first piece of re­search to sup­port the ben­e­fits of choos­ing frozen. Ex­perts at the Univer­sity of Ch­ester in the UK com­pared lev­els of vi­ta­min C in a range of frozen items with lev­els in fresh pro­duce stored in the fridge for three days at 3.8 de­grees. With the ex­cep­tion of cau­li­flower, lev­els were sim­i­lar in fresh and frozen pro­duce. But once the fresh food had been stored for a few days, vi­ta­min C con­tent fell below that of the frozen, with blue­ber­ries show­ing the big­gest drop. So why does frozen fare bet­ter? It’s like buy­ing a car: the mo­ment a shiny new model leaves the lot, it loses value. The same goes for freshly picked fruit and veg­gies. De­spite boast­ing high lev­els of nu­tri­ents, many start to de­grade as soon as they’re har­vested. By the time they’re in your kitchen, the good-for-you pro­file has dropped. Frozen pro­duce, on the other hand, is pack­aged at peak qual­ity, help­ing it stay that ex­act way longer. The big-pic­ture per­spec­tive: eat­ing more fruit and veg­eta­bles in any form will pos­i­tively im­pact your health. So think about strik­ing a mix of fresh and frozen in your weekly diet. If you’re throw­ing to­gether a salad with veg­gies and crisp green leaves, go fresh. But if you’re cook­ing up soups, stir-fries and post-work­out shakes with in­gre­di­ents Iike corn, pep­pers and berries, frozen is a fan­tas­tic op­tion.

Best of the bunch Use this handy cheat sheet for what to grab where at the mar­ket FRESH FROZEN BLUE­BER­RIES CHERRIES NECTARINES STRAWBERRIES MEALIES BROC­COLI GREEN BEANS RASPBERRIES BLACKBERRIES SPINACH PEAS CAU­LI­FLOWER

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