How to get the best from your fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are very essential to the body when consumed. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. As we know, vitamins contain an antioxidant that helps fight against disease and keeps the body fit and healthy.
There are many benefits to eating fruits and vegetables as part of one’s diet. Fruits and vegetables are a source of nourishment that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissues.
Eat enough vegetables and fruit of different varieties daily.
How can one know and purchase fresh vegetables?
One of the best places to get fresh vegetables is from the farmers market.
A farmer’s market is a retail market where a consumer buys food directly from farmers.
Consumers can purchase locally grown vegetables from the farmers market without additional chemicals to make it look fresh and attractive.
If you can’t reach a farmer market then you can get your vegetable from a grocery store or supermarket.
Most vegetables are seasonal so one of the ways to make a good choice of fresh vegetables is to know the season of the vegetable.The fresher the healthier.
Some of the signs of fresh vegetables is that they look bright, that is, they look attractive and have a lively color, and they don’t have spots.
Vegetables are more affordable during their harvest seasons.
One of the advantages of purchasing vegetables during their harvest season is its freshness because it does not travel far to get to the consumer and the nutritional value is still intact when it’s fresh.
Some people think that vegetable is only the edible leaves that we eat, but no. Vegetable crops are all crops under horticulture.
Types of vegetables
Biologically, vegetables are divided into:
- Leafy green: They are vegetables which are grown for the consumption of their leaf parts such as oregano, lettuce, and silverbeet
- Cruciferous: They are vegetables with many genera and cultivars been raised for food production such as cabbage, garden cress, cauliflower, and broccoli.
- Marrow vegetables: The mature fruits of certain cultivars such as pumpkin, cucumbers, and zucchini.
- Root: The part of a plant that attaches it to the ground typically under the ground such as potato, Cocoyam, potato, groundnut.
- Edible plants stem: They are part of plants eaten by humans such as leaves, fruits, seed, flowers
- Allium: They include cultivated onion, leek, scallion, chives, and garlic.
Types of Fruits
Here are the major types of fruit that you need to know. They are;
- Drupe fruits – cherry, peaches and apricots
- Berries – strawberry, raspberry, kiwi, blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, and passion fruit
- Pomes – apples and pears
- Citrus – oranges, lemons, and limes
- Pepo – watermelon and rockmelon
- Tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, pawpaw, and guavas
Preparation and cooking of fruits and vegetables
Most vegetables are cooked but some are eaten raw. The heat from cooking vegetables can damage some nutrients that’s why it is advisable not to overcook vegetables especially in soups, stew, and other foods
How to get the best from your fruits and vegetables.
- Wash fruit properly before eating
- Most fruits are eaten raw while if possible eat raw vegetables or half-cooked vegetables.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that have been grounded or crushed into liquids.
- Eat the skin of the fruits as most nutrients are on the skin or just below the skin
- Serve your meals with vegetables in place of butter and creamy sauce.
- Wash your leafy vegetables before cutting so as not to wash away the nutrients.