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Fruits and vegetables are nutritious foods that provide flavor, vitamins, minerals and fiber to your diet. Studies have even found that they may reduce the risk of certain diseases like heart disease and cancer.

When shopping for produce, opt for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only are these cheaper, fresher options, but they’re also more nutritious as well.

In-season

Though many fruits and vegetables are available year-round, certain ones can only be found during certain times of year. When these in-season produce items are at their peak, you can be certain they’ll taste delicious as well as provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients.

For the freshest produce, head to a farmers market or grocery store if you know what to look for. Not only does this save money on groceries but it also ensures you get only top-notch ingredients. This is an ideal way to stretch your food budget while still getting what’s in season!

If you’re new to eating seasonally, it can be challenging to determine what fruits and veggies are at their peak during different months. That is why it is essential to consult a seasonal produce list before making any purchases.

This list will tell you which fruits and veggies are in season in your area each month of the year, so that you can plan a menu around them. Furthermore, freezing or canning your seasonal produce helps preserve them for later use.

In-season products are always fresher and tastier than out-of-season alternatives, as they have been harvested and grown locally. Plus, buying locally means there are no transportation expenses to consider – making them even more cost effective!

In addition to being cheaper and tastier, buying in-season fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to support local farmers and small businesses. Furthermore, it helps avoid pesticides that may be applied when produce is out of season.

Another advantage of eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is that it will help keep you healthy and trim. Seasonal produce is packed with essential vitamins and minerals which will boost your immunity during cold or flu season, keeping you away from illness.

Furthermore, buying in-season fruits and veggies can help you reduce your pesticide intake since these items require fewer preservatives to stay fresh for extended periods. This is especially beneficial for those with an allergy or sensitivity to pesticides.

Frozen

If you’re trying to eat healthily, eating as many fresh fruit and vegetables as possible is recommended. But sometimes it can be challenging to get enough produce at the right time of year – especially during winter months. Buying frozen fruits and veggies is an affordable and convenient way to ensure you’re getting all of the essential vitamins and nutrients.

When purchasing frozen fruits and veggies, look for labels that say “naked” or “raw,” meaning they haven’t been processed with added ingredients such as salt, sugar or preservatives. Furthermore, frozen produce tends to have lower calories and fat contents than fresh counterparts – making it a healthier choice in your diet.

Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked at their peak ripeness and then washed, blanched, and frozen within hours of harvesting. This process helps preserve vital nutrients while keeping them fresh for longer.

Flash freezing is a cost-effective way to preserve produce from the elements and keep it at an ideal temperature for freezing, which helps preserve its natural flavors and nutrients. This technique, known as flash freezing, allows produce to stay protected from environmental elements while remaining at optimal freezing temperatures – often faster than buying from farmers’ markets.

Frozen produce, in addition to being lower in calories and fat than fresh produce, makes a great option for vegans or vegetarians on a diet. They can be added into smoothies, soups, stir-frys – making them an excellent substitute for meat when cooking for families with young children.

Recent survey of SNAP-eligible households revealed that 80% of people bought frozen fruits and vegetables as sides to main entrees, 45% as ingredients in drinks or smoothies, and 40% to add variety to meals. Furthermore, 74% said they relied on frozen produce between grocery trips when they couldn’t purchase as much fresh produce as desired.

When selecting frozen fruits and vegetables, look for those that have a solid, hard texture or can be easily felt under your fingernails. Additionally, check the bag or package for signs that the produce has thawed and been re-frozen; such as softness, sweating, or mushy textures.

Canned

Canned fruit and vegetables offer a convenient, cost-effective way to add healthy snacks or meals to your family’s diet. Since they tend to be cheaper than fresh or frozen options, families can stretch their food budget further while still getting nutritious food.

Canned fruits and vegetables are typically nutritionally equivalent to their fresh counterparts, providing the same amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Unfortunately, some small amounts of vitamins may be lost during canning; thus it’s essential that you select canned products that provide a good source of Vitamin C as well as other heat-sensitive nutrients.

Canned apricots and peaches, for instance, are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Furthermore, they’re packed with antioxidants which may help guard against free radicals and heart disease.

Vegetables like broccoli, peas and mushrooms are packed with potassium – an essential mineral that helps lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of stroke.

Furthermore, many canned fruits and vegetables contain a good amount of fibre. Fiber helps you feel satiated, which is important for managing weight and decreasing the risk of chronic disease.

Caned fruit and vegetable products generally have a long shelf-life. Some are labeled with a “use by” date to indicate when they should be consumed before quality or flavor are compromised.

When storing canned goods, keep them in a cool, dry place. Rotate them so the oldest product is used first. If possible, store in an opaque container with a tight fitting lid to prevent leakage and rust.

Some foods, such as canned tomatoes, should be consumed within 18 months of purchase. Low-acid canned goods (like canned vegetables) can be stored for up to 2-5 years with proper storage conditions.

In Europe, the market for canned fruits and vegetables is projected to expand at an average annual growth rate of 1-2% from 2015-2019. This growth is mainly fueled by innovations within the canning industry such as ‘Nutri-score’ labelling, enhanced’ready-to-eat’ products, and expanding distribution channels.

Pre-cut

Shopping for pre-cut fruits and vegetables can be a time saver in the kitchen. However, these items also have some drawbacks that should be taken into account before you make your purchase.

First and foremost, pre-cut fruits and veggies are more vulnerable to bacterial contamination than whole produce due to commercial processing facilities having multiple produce items in one area at once, making it difficult to guarantee that prep areas, surfaces, and utensils are clean.

Another concern is that pre-cut produce often undergoes chemical treatments to extend its shelf life, which could be hazardous to your health. While these chemicals are meant to preserve fruit freshness and taste, research has indicated they may also have negative health effects.

Furthermore, pre-cut produce contains more nutrients than whole fruits and vegetables, meaning they break down faster. This means vitamins like vitamin C and carotenoids become inactive much sooner than if you consumed the entire vegetable – this is why it’s recommended that you consume these items within five or six days of purchase.

According to dietitian Caroline West Passerrello, it’s best to wash pre-cut vegetables before eating them to ensure their cleanliness. This is especially crucial for leafy greens packaged in bags as these create a warm and humid environment where bacteria can flourish, according to the guidelines.

Additionally, cutting produce prior to consumption exposes it to pathogens like salmonella and E. coli which can lead to serious illness or even death in some cases. Furthermore, pieces of cut produce are frequently treated with antibacterial solutions in an effort to extend their shelf life.

Ultimately, the ideal option is to purchase fresh-cut produce that has already been precut and stored airtight containers until you’re ready to eat it. This way, you can maximize the nutrient value of your food without compromising its overall quality.

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