Diet & Exercise: Where do your fruits and vegetables come from?

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 22, 2017

During this time of year, our thoughts turn to mouth-watering fruits and vegetables. By far, the most nutritious fruits and veggies come straight from your garden, or from local farmers markets. One advantage in having your own garden, is you can direct how and what you grow. You can directly control how you prepare your soil, and what plants you put in the your garden.

As a side note, what I recommend parents do to get their children more interested in vegetables and other produce is get them involved. Plant a garden with your kids. Let them help pick out what goes into the garden. Then, show them how the vegetables will look, how to care for them, and then how to pick them. You can even go a step further and show your kids how to cook them.

Let’s turn our attention to actually buying fruits and vegetables in a grocery store. You just might be surprised where the most nutritious ones are located. Many people just assume that most nutritious produce comes from the “fresh” produce aisle. This is not always the case. There are two other areas in your grocery store where produce can be found, and they are worth serious consideration.

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Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are well worth checking out and here’s why. Most major canneries flash freeze on sight. In other words these fruits and vegetables go straight from the field into frozen containers. Why is this a good thing? By placing straight into flash freezing, the produce does not lose nutrients. The same is true for canning. Most major canneries can on sight. The only things I don’t like about canned fruits and vegetables is that usually salt or sugar is added.

Another great thing about frozen and canned produce is it has a much longer shelf life and is easier to store. You can also buy smaller or larger portions depending on your needs. Also, some exotic produce may not be available except canned or frozen.

One of the problems with “fresh” grocery store produce is that because of its very nature, it has to be picked green before it is shipped. This is dependent on from where it ships. I am not saying that you shouldn’t choose fresh produce from the grocery store. What I am saying is to pay particular attention to its freshness. Get to know the produce manger at your local grocery. They can usually tell you exactly when produce arrived and where it came from.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years.