Fruit And Vegetable Death Trap? The Nutrient Scandal Explained In 3 Steps

by Michael A - Date: 2010-09-28 - Word Count: 483 Share This!

The problem with fruit and vegetables stem from a number of sources. The whole process by which the produce you consume, however fresh it may seem, is grown and then enters your diet can leave it as a nutritionally depleted food source. Of course it is difficult to produce and distribute these types of foods and maintain nutrient quality. What is to blame is the process as a whole, which is influenced by human interference, poor knowledge of good health practices, the stress of satisfying high demand and also agricultures devastating effect on the environment. All these aspects destroy the natural process by which nutrient retention is ensured in the food cycle.

Step 1: Growth

Any nutrients that are contained in fruit and vegetables are absorbed and created during growth. Whereas a well watered plant is able to create vitamins from the basic elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere, minerals have to come from the soil. This is where nutrient depletion in the soils used to grow our produce becomes an issue.

When plants absorb nutrients and are shipped off, the nutrients are lost to the land. Now the process in which these nutrients are renewed is disrupted by land clearance. It's the removal of tree's, which losen minerals from the deep soil and rocks below and absorb nutrients through their roots, which in turn end up in the soil when the their leaves fall. The soil directly reflects the nutrient density in the fruit and vegetables we consume and also the meats of the animals who graze on them.

Step 2: Delivery

The problem faced with growers is that they need to get their produce to the consumer to satisfy demand and maximize profit. Fruit and vegetables are at their most nutritionally rich when they are fully ripe. It is in the last phase of growth, where the bitter compounds are replaced with sweet sugars, that vitamins and minerals are concentrated into the end product. Unfortunately once ripe, the produce is easily spoiled, it may be mushed during transport so it makes sense to pick them just before they fully ripen. This way they are transported while still relatively hard. Next there is the problem with the long storage times before the fruit and vegetables actually reach our supermarket shelves. The longer the wait, the worse the effects on nutritional goodness.

Step 3: Preparation

A lot of nutrients can be lost during the stage of preparing your meal. You should avoid cooking for long periods of time or at high temperatures. Heat causes the depletion of nutrients, not to mention the harmful oxidants that are formed during this process, in particular when frying. Now when you boil your vegetables, which is the common approach, nutrients are lost into the surrounding water. Therefore it is a good idea to cook your vege's as part of a soup as the nutrients are retained in the soups sauce.

Related Tags: health, weight loss, nutrition, diet, lose weight, nutrients, eat healthy, weight issues

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