Why Nutrients Are Lost in Cut Fruits and Vegetables?

Why Nutrients Are Lost in Cut Fruits and Vegetables?

July 9, 2019 0 By admin

One way to make fruits and vegetables more convenient is to buy them pre-cut and packaged or to cut them up yourself soon after you bring them home. However, cutting, slicing, chopping or peeling fruits and vegetables reduces some of their nutritional value. Learn what you can do to get the most from your produce.

For fruits and vegetables with edible skins or rinds, it’s best to eat them intact so you get the nutrients and fiber contained the rind. Potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers, for example, can be simply rinsed thoroughly and used as they are.

Buying the Best Pre-Cut Produce

Time is an important factor in nutrient loss. Look at the dates on the packaging and buy the freshest produce, especially if they are pre-cut. You should only buy pre-cut produce that has been kept refrigerated, as low temperatures also reduce nutrient loss.

Ideally, you should eat any pre-cut fruit in two to three days and pre-cut vegetables within five to six days.

Keep the time limits in mind when stocking up at the market or the warehouse store. They are great for grab-and-go for a snack or making a meal soon, but not the best for long-term storage.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables to Retain the Most Nutritional Value

The best way to store fruits and vegetables is to leave them unwashed with the skin or rinds intact until the day you plan to eat them. You don’t have to wait until the last moment to cut your produce, but be sure you keep them stored in air-tight containers in your refrigerator once you have you cut them. It’s also best if you can leave them in large chunks. Less surface area means less oxygen exposure and more vitamin retention.

Use a sharp knife when you cut vegetables or fruit. A sharp knife, as opposed to a dull blade, doesn’t bruise the produce as much. As a result, there is less leakage of calcium and potassium and less production of off-odors. Also, be sure you use a clean knife so you aren’t introducing bacteria or mold, which will lead to spoilage.
Produce starts looking bad even before it begins to lose nutrients significantly. Once your produce has started to shrivel, turn deep brown, or show signs of mold or decay, it’s time to compost it rather than eating it.

Convenience May Be a Nutrition Win

It can be tedious to have to wash and chop your fresh fruits and vegetables when you’re busy with other things. You may find yourself with a crisper drawer full of “aspirational vegetables” you meant to use, but you couldn’t face the work (however minor) that was needed. The small difference in nutrients is completely lost if you don’t eat the produce because it wasn’t convenient.

Having fresh fruits and vegetables all ready to go might make it easier for you to make healthy choices at snack time. So go ahead and purchase fruits and veggies that have been washed and cut into pieces. Just keep them in their containers and remember they won’t last all that long.