10 Tips To Maximize Nutrition From Today's Nutrient-Depleted Produce

In an interview with Life Extension magazine, she gives us a few tips to get the most nutrition from our fruits and vegetables. As she says, "depending on how you store, prepare, and cook them, you can either destroy their beneficial bionutrients or retain and even enhance them."

1. "Most berries ... increase their antioxidant activity when you cook them. Believe it or not, canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh ones, provided you consume the canning liquid. And simmering a tomato sauce for hours triples its lycopene content."

2. "Most broccoli sold in farmers markets is impeccably fresh and highly nutritious. Look for a vendor who has the broccoli on ice or in a cooler. In order to preserve nutrients, broccoli must be chilled as soon as harvested, kept cool, and then eaten within two to three days."

3. "Eating broccoli raw gives you 20 times more of a beneficial compound called sulforaphane than cooked. Sulforaphane provides much of the vegetable?s anticancer properties."

4. "One of the best ways is to steam (broccoli) for no more than four minutes to retain the most nutrients. Another recommended way to cook is to saute in extra virgin olive oil and garlic. The vegetables will absorb the phytonutrients in the oil and garlic, which can make it even more nutritious."

5. "Wild apples, the way nature made them, may indeed help us live longer and healthier lives. In a 2003 survey, lab tests showed wild apples were vastly more nutritious. One species had 15 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious. Another had 65 times more."

6. An especially nutritious apple was discovered in New Zealand by Mark Christensen.... "compared to 250 other varieties, his apples had exceptionally high levels of phytonutrients. Tests show extracts of these apples reduced the growth of different types of cancer cells, and were more effective at destroying colon cancer cells than any other apple tested.... New Zealanders call it the Full Monty because it has it all?flavor, beauty, size, a bounty of phytonutrients, and the promise of being a potent weapon against cancer....? (Until the Full Monty is readily available) ... "Choose the most colorful fruit of any given variety.... And eat the skin; an unpeeled apple can give you 50% more phytonutrients than a peeled one."

7. "If you know how to identify the most nutritious tomatoes in the market, you can triple or quadruple your intake of lycopene. Choose tomatoes by color. The darkest red have the most lycopene. Shopping by size is just as important. Small, dark red tomatoes have the most lycopene per ounce and they?re also sweeter and more flavorful. Small tomatoes also have more vitamin C. The smaller-is-better rule applies to varieties within a category."

8. "Tomatoes are better cooked than raw. The longer you cook them, the more health benefits you get. Heat breaks down the cell walls, making nutrients more bioavailable.... The most nutritious tomatoes are in the canned goods aisle. Processed tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene.... Tomato paste has up to 10 times the lycopene as raw tomatoes."

9. "Blueberries show great promise in fighting our so-called diseases of civilization. In animal studies, the fruit has prevented tumor formation, slowed the growth of existing tumors, lowered blood pressure, reduced arterial plaque buildup, and soothed inflammation."

10. "Frozen berries are almost as nutritious as fresh. The highest-quality are those that are flash frozen. Cooked berries, believe it or not, have greater antioxidant levels than fresh. Even canned are better for you than fresh-picked fruit, provided you consume the canning liquid along with the berries. Cooking and canning rearranges the structure of the phytonutrients and makes them more bioavailable."

The above quotations are from:

Life Extension Magazine, February 2015

Author Interview: Eating On The Wild Side -- The Missing Link To Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson

Interviewed by Astrid Derfler Kessler


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