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2 rules to picking nutritious produce

September 13th, 2012 No Comments

 

All fruits and veggies are not created equal in terms of their nutritional value and it’s challenging to keep all of their facts straight.  So my  nutritionist Hilary King offers these two helpful guidelines to help us make better decisions when we’re shopping. They’re not fool-proof, but they work most of time.

We want fruit and veggies with COLOR and CRUNCH.

1.  The more COLORFUL the better!

In most cases of fruits and vegetables, the more color they have, the more vitamins and minerals they contain for us. For example, dark green kale is better for you than romaine lettuce. Red peppers and tomatoes are better for you than yellow peppers and tomatoes. The skin of red apples is more nutritious than that of green apples. Red potatoes are better for you than yellow potatoes. Sweet potatoes follow this rule and are the best potato for you.

However, color also indicates that the fruit or veggie is riper, which means it is sweeter, and therefore higher in carbs. Think about the evolution of a banana. Although, you just learned that a banana is not the best choice of fruit for you because it lacks color and texture (explained below). I was surprised to hear that bananas don’t even have much potassium as we believe they do.

2.  Choose CRUNCHY over soft.

Hilary says we should choose the most CRUNCHY and SEEDY produce. Both indicate fiber. The exceptions would be celery, iceberg lettuce, and cucumbers that are lacking in color so they aren’t the best choices from a nutrition standpoint. You’re best produce is organic kale, broccoli, red peppers, green beans, carrots, and berries.

Cooking veggies is ok, but when you heat them to softness then you know you have lost some of their fibrous value.

For more nutrition tips from Hilary, click here.

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