Fruit and vegetable are endowed with several constituents that contribute towards promoting health. The high concentrations of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, particularly electrolytes and phytochemicals especially antioxidants are responsible for the health benefits. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can result in reduced risk of certain types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.
How to choose fruits and vegetables safely in the shop?
While buying fruits and vegetables make sure that they are
- Not bruised or damaged
- Without cuts
- Not having insect holes
- Not having mould or decay
- Without soft spots and wrinkled skin
- Select as many different types of fruits and vegetables as possible. Variety is the key. The more the variety of fruits and veggies in the diet the more the nutrients available from them. Go for different brightly colored fruits and vegetables to obtain different phytochemicals they are brimming with.
- Buy ripe fruits when you are going to eat them immediately and if you are going to use them later buy unripe ones. Ripe fruits have a sweet aroma.
- Segregate fruits and vegetables from other products such as meat and fish in the shopping cart itself, put them in different grocery bags.
- Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. For example, we can get mangoes in other seasons too but they come from a different place and would have travelled hundreds of miles. They would be kept fresh by different means. Try to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables because they are fresh and nutritious and locally produced.
- Fresh fruits are always better compared to canned produce, because there may be added sugar or salt. Frozen vegetables are also available but if you can get fresh vegetables it is ideal.
- While buying vegetables see that they are crisp and not wilted or limp. Crisp and colorful vegetables make good raw material for food preparation.
- Buy fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible. Do not buy and store them for a long time. Increase the frequency of buying fruits and veggies. Buy the amount you require because fruits and vegetables are perishable produce.
- Fruits and vegetables are generally fragile and soft in nature. At the checkout counter place the fruits and veggies in the shopping cart on top of the other grocery bags so that they do not get squished.
- Remember that when you buy fruits and vegetables in a season not only, are they fresh and nutritious but also you are saving money. Produce which is not in season is always expensive.
How to use fruits and vegetables safely in the kitchen?
- In the refrigerator store fruits and vegetables in a different shelf away from raw meat, fish or seafood.
- Wash your hands before working with your fruits and vegetables. Clean the containers, chopping board and knife which you are going to use before and after using the fresh produce.
- Whether we are going to eat the peel or not wash the produce under running water. Scrub the surface properly to remove dirt or any germs present on the surface of the fruits and veggies.
- If there is any damaged or bruised portion remove that. The ideal situation would be not to buy such products in the first place.
- Handle the fruits and vegetables gently because they are delicate products.