Nutrition: Get more from your food

Pump up your produce.

By Eric Chen, WAC Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

Nutrition is at the forefront of environmental factors that affect our health! We all know that it’s healthy to eat fruits and vegetables, but you can get more out of every serving. Use these tips to maximize your food’s nutrient power.

  1. Eat local. Produce can lose anywhere from 15 percent to 60 percent of absorbable nutrients during transit time. Eating local means less time from farm to table and fresher produce with more available nutrients.
  2. Chop and blend your produce. This will break down rigid cell walls and free up those amazing micronutrients for absorption.
  3. Eat dark leafy greens raw. Raw spinach contains 3 times more vitamin C than cooked spinach.
  4. Know which vegetables to cook. The bioavailability of beta carotene greatly increases when cooked. This means your body can more readily access beta carotene when foods containing the substance are exposed to heat. So don’t be afraid to sauté or roast your red, orange and yellow plants such as tomatoes, peppers and carrots.
  5. Add some citrus. The vitamin C in citrus acts as an enzyme to increase mineral absorption. Consuming a food high in vitamin C—like an orange—can boost iron absorption from plant sources six fold.

Keep it simple and start by heading to your local farmers market to get some farm fresh produce. Make yourself a delicious chopped spinach salad with lemon juice vinaigrette. You can even take it a step further and top it with some nuts, roasted beets and carrots!


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