Healthy Tips for Eating RipePosted: Jan 02 in Nutrition by Dr. Lazarus
The produce isle—it’s like looking at the perfect outfit on a mannequin at your favorite clothing store. This outfit is perfection on the mannequin but it’s an utter disappointment when you try it on in the dressing room for yourself. Buying produce in Denver can be the same way. You pick up a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables excited to cook something healthy for your weight loss program, but when you get them home and try them out you’re dissatisfied with their lack of flavor and texture. Unfortunately, this reality causes many people to throw out their healthy intentions and opt for something with more flavor and less health benefits.
When you purchase produce that lacks flavor it’s often because it was out of season. Most produce sold in grocery stores is grown far away, harvested before it was ripe and then shipped off on a long journey before it ever reaches your plate. When produce is picked before given a chance to ripen, natural substances responsible for flavor, aroma and nutritional value aren’t able to develop. Sometimes it is better to skip the grocery store and bring home local, in-season produce to eat instead. When you’re trying to lose weight, making sure your produce is ripe is beneficial as ripe foods tend to be filled with antioxidants that aid in weight loss.
If you don’t have the time to tend and grow your own produce garden, take advantage of these local resources:
Local Harvest – This site can help you find a local farmers market or community supported agriculture program (CSAs). This resource can help you find out what’s in season around Denver, meet local farmers who grew it and even how to get it delivered to your door.
Pick Your Own – Looking to get a more hands-on experience with your produce—this resource lists places to visit in your area where you can go and pick your fruits and vegetables yourself. Sometimes visiting farms can help you see why eating certain fruits that aren’t in season is truly not natural.
Neighborhood Fruit – This resource helps you find and share local fruits and vegetables grown from neighborhood backyards or public lands. Not only is this a great way to meet people in your area who grow local produce but it helps cut down on wasting the leftovers.
All of these resources are great to use when you’re trying to find in-season, local produce to add to your weight loss program. It is important to eat ripe produce to ensure you’re getting the maximum amounts of antioxidants fruits and vegetables have to offer. These antioxidants help with weight loss and are good for overall health in general but make sure you consult your weight loss doctor before altering your diet. When it’s time to make your next trip to the store, get the most from your produce and try out a local farmers market instead—the flavor alone is enough to make the trip worthwhile.