Timing Is Everything When Eating Fruits, Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables in grocery stores are still alive and know what time of day it is, researchers report. The findings suggest that the way produce is stored and eaten could have an impact on its nutritional value and health benefits, according to the study.
“Vegetables and fruits, even after harvest, can respond to light signals and consequently change their biology in ways that may affect health value and insect resistance,” study author Janet Braam, of Rice University, said in a news release. “Perhaps we should be storing our vegetables and fruits under light-dark cycles and timing when to cook and eat them to enhance their health value.” By remaining alive after being harvested, vegetables and fruits can alter levels of chemicals that protect them from being eaten by insects and other creatures, the researchers found. Some of these chemicals also have anti-cancer effects. Braam and her colleagues made the initial discovery in cabbage and then found similar responses in lettuce, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and blueberries.
By eating vegetables and fruits at certain times of day, you may gain the most benefit from them. But that may prove challenging, so the researchers suggested “to harvest crops and freeze or otherwise preserve them at specific times of day, when nutrients and valuable phytochemicals are at their peak,” Braam said.
Source: Copyright 2005-2013, WebMD, Inc.
Provided by the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) from their July 2013 Monthly Wellstyles Newsletter, by Rebecca McGonigle.