Vitamins and minerals, fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients for our beautiful lives can be found in fruits and vegetables. They also contain a great deal of fiber which helps combat constipation and digestive disorders plus are Iow in calories, help weight control.
Fruits and Vegetables were the first doctors, first medicine; first pharmacies where man sought help for many kinds of diseases that they encountered that would not have existed because of the natural prevention that comes from fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables and Fruits give generous supply of antioxidants- vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene. These vitamins may assist the body by immobilizing compound that can otherwise alter or destroy the body’s cells. These compounds are called free radicals, and they are associated with the formation of cancer and the development of certain heart diseases.
To get the necessary vitamins from the fruits and vegetables you eat, here are ten (10) things to remember:
- Harvest fruits and vegetables in the early morning. The sun heat destroys vitamins in the plants. The ultra violet (UV) rays of the sun directly hit cells at increasing intensity as the sun goes higher and water escapes from the leaves into air. UV destroys some vitamins especially in plant parts (such as the top) where chlorophyll, the green pigments in plants is less the ideal time for harvesting especially green leafy vegetables is from 6:00-9:00Am.
- Harvest only young succulent vegetables.
Most of the vitamins are in young vegetables fruits and in the young tops of green leafy vegetables where vitamins occur in bigger amounts than in the mature leaves.
- Eat vegetables fresh from the garden.
Vegetables must be eaten not long after they have been harvested. Vitamins start to degrade as the vegetable starts to wilt. To slow down wilting, they freshly harvested fruit and vegetable must be wrapped in a clean sheet of papers before placing it in a plastic bag and kept in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Direct use of the plastic bag in keeping the fruits and vegetables hastens rotting.
- Wash and soak fruits and vegetables for 10-20 minutes.
It is better to soak and wash fruits and vegetables in clean water for 10-20 minutes in order to remove dirt or whatever chemicals before cooking or eating them.
- Do not slice the vegetables into small pieces let vitamins escape and degrade faster than those in vegetables that are sliced bigger or never sliced at all. Slicing the vegetables into small pieces increases the surface area that is subjected to direct heat during cooking.
- Don’t overcook vegetables.
Vitamins are heat sensitive. Much of the vitamins are lost when vegetables are cooked at a temperature that gradually increases to boiling point. Cooking must be done quickly especially for green leafy vegetables. Half-cooked vegetables are preferable.
- Add a pinch of salt into the cooking medium before putting in the vegetable.
A small amount of salt in the cooking medium renders chlorophyll intact within the cell.
- Serve and eat vegetables immediately after cooking.
Eat cooked vegetables immediately while they are palatable and appetizing and when their vitamins are still intact.
- Eat a variety of vegetables.
Not all vitamins in our body are found in one kind of vegetable. A variety of vegetables and fruits should be eaten one or two at a time each meal in order to get all the needed vitamins by the body.
- Take your food with a thankful heart.
Each time you eat, always thank the source of life for His blessings of food and good health.
Thankfulness allows a relaxed emotional state and sets the stage for efficient digestion. Absorption and assimilation. Eating while tired nervous and angry or depressed distort digestion. During this emotional status, adrenalin shoots up in the circulating blood and drains the energy from the stomach muscles.
An attitude and thankfulness prepare the body to accept the food that satisfies appetite and nourishes the body with new energy.