Posted by: 4pack | August 7, 2009

“Ideal Healthy Foods”: Fruits And Vegetables Are Best Eaten Or Prepared With Skin On

fruits and vegetables

If the skin of the produce is left on, regardless of whether or not the produce is chopped or pureed, as long as the whole raw vegetable or fruit is eaten the fiber is still available, says Maurer Abbot.

Q. If you cut up vegetables or fruit, or blend or puree them, do they lose their fiber content?
 
Facts: The simple act of cutting fruits and vegetables can cause loss of some nutrients, such as vitamin C, but fiber content is retained, says Shira Isenberg, RD MPH, a New Jersey-based nutritionist. Additionally, fiber will not deteriorate when exposed to air.
 
The problem is not the cutting, blending or pureeing, it’s the commercial processing that typically reduces the fiber and nutrient content of fruits and vegetables (e.g., when they’re turned into juice). The reason: “It’s mainly due to the removal of the skin of the produce (a great source of insoluble fiber) and, to a small extent, cooking the fruit or vegetable, even with skin still on,” says Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, Ph.D., RD, a specialist in sports dietetics in Georgia.
 
In addition, fruit and vegetable juices typically contain added sugar, which reduces the nutritional quality of these drinks even further, adds Isenberg.

Bottom line: If the skin of the produce is left on, regardless of whether or not the produce is chopped or pureed, as long as the whole raw vegetable or fruit is eaten the fiber is still available, says Maurer Abbot.
 
Q. Which part of the broccoli is healthiest, the stems or the florets? What are the nutrient differences? As far as color goes, is it the darker the green the better?
 
Facts: Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. The florets pack more vitamin A than the stems. But, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, that’s about the only difference — 100 grams of broccoli florets have 3,000 IUs of vitamin A, compared with 400 IUs in the stems.
 
High intakes of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower risk of lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. Broccoli contains glucosinolates, which are said to prevent cancer by helping to get rid of cancer-causing agents before they can damage the cell, as well as by preventing healthy cells from being altered into unhealthy, cancerous cells. In fact, sulforaphane, a glucosinolate and one of the primary antioxidants in broccoli, is actually activated when broccoli is chewed or chopped. “Additionally, broccoli is also high in potassium, vitamin K and folic acid, which are vital to heart health,” Andrews says.
 
And yes, the darker purplish and greener the broccoli is, the more nutrients it has. Also, according to Andrews, broccoli has low pesticide content compared with other vegetables such as peppers, celery and spinach.
 
Bottom line: The florets are slightly healthier than the stems, but both are extremely beneficial for your well-being.

http://www.kcby.com/news/health/52591172.html

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