Picking the Best and Most Nutritious Produce
Eat healthy the right way.
Picking produce can be hard, especially if you're not only trying to find the best, most ripe piece of produce, but you also want to know that you're buying the healthiest and most nutritious options as well. Finding produce that is the most beneficial to your health and wellbeing is not only important, but crucial for living a long and healthy life. Some vitamins and nutrients that are most important to include in a healthy balanced diet include vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants. Finding produce that contains these important nutrients is key when trying to maintain a nutritious lifestyle.
Vitamin C is a key player in your healthy lifestyle and balance. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C has antioxidant properties, as well as the ability to lower blood pressure. In recent studies, it has been discovered that vitamin C also may be a key player in reducing your risk of heart disease, and minimizing arterial blockage and plaque build up. Heart disease starts with plaque in your arteries that slowly starts to build up inside of them, causing blockages and clots that lead to heart attacks and long term heart problems. In adults taking the recommended 1500mg of vitamin C, the risk of arterial buildup decreased by 35 percent, confirming our suspicions that vitamin C is great for the heart. So, what foods are high in vitamin C? Produce such as oranges, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach are all very high in vitamin C.
Vitamin K is an important nutrient for blood clotting factors and cognitive health, in addition to bone health and retention. The properties of vitamin K make the blood platelets thick enough to stick together, so when you cut yourself or draw blood, somehow your blood will coagulate and stop itself from continuing to drain. When buying produce high in vitamin K, look for dark, leafy greens such as kale and collard greens; they typically will be the highest in Vitamin K. Also, produce such as asparagus, broccoli, and turnips will have a fair amount of the vitamin. Try picking ones you like the most, and experiment with new recipes or methods of preparation to keep things new and fresh, so you never get too bored of one thing.
Fill Up on Fiber
It's a pretty well known fact that fiber is extremely healthy and important to our bodies, and including it in our diet will not only help lower cholesterol, but will also help fight obesity with its ability to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Oatmeal, beans, and nuts are commonly known sources full of fiber, but produce has more than its share in fiber as well. Produce that contain a lot of fiber include peas, bananas, artichokes, and raspberries, but almost all fruits and vegetables contain at least some amount of fiber in them. When choosing to eat a high-fiber diet, it's important to remember to stay hydrated, because the extra fiber in your diet will cause blockages in your bowels and digestive system if you aren't properly supporting it with water.
Antioxidants are one of the most powerful cancer-fighting nutrients you can eat, and introducing them into your diet will help fight cell damage, which ultimately reduces your risk for cancer and other major diseases. Produce such as blueberries, pomegranates, and red beans are all extremely high in antioxidants. You can also find them in blackberries, strawberries, apples, and even potatoes. When choosing produce, make sure you choose the ones that best fit your diet, and that you will enjoy too; you don't want to get into the trap of hating your diet and ultimately giving up on it all together.
So, the next time you're grocery shopping, go for the fruits and vegetables that have the most nutrients that fit your needs and the diet you want to have.