Recently David began reading a book that is having an enormous influence on how we buy, cook and eat fruits and vegetables — and so I thought I’d share it with you. Written by Jo Robinson and called “Eating on the Wild Side,” the book examines the nutritional history and fruits and vegetables, what impact generations of farming and selective breeding have had on produce, and how we can best “forage” the modern day (super)markets to best eat fruits and vegetables to increase one’s health benefits.
NPR did an interview with Jo Robinson, which you can find here.
We love the information provided by this book, and enthusiastically recommend it! We truly feel like we are making smarter, more informed and healthier choices in how we eat fruit and vegetables.
Here are a few gems of knowledge we’ve gained from the book so far:
- Blueberries: eat more of them. They have the potential to slow brain aging, fight cancer and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Frozen blueberries are almost as good as fresh ones — cooking blueberries (and many other types of berries) increases the berries’ nutritional content as “the heat rearranges the structure of the phytonutrients and also makes them more bioavailable.”
- Apples: in general for red apples, the redder the apple the more sun exposure it’s had, which means the more phytonutrients it has — and so better for you. Granny Smith apples, however, are among the most nutritious varieties available in regular supermarkets. Eat the skin and try to buy organic.
- Garlic: best to way to use garlic is to mince it, or, even better, microplane it and rest for 10 minutes without heat (i.e. don’t cook it) in order to create more Allicin (it’s most active beneficial phytonutrient).
- Blue/dark purple is your friend: whether potatoes, corn, kale, berries or carrots — dark purple, is a great signifier of high phytonutrient content.
- Tomatoes: smaller is better and tomatoes that are darker red in color have more lycopene. To maximize health benefits go for the small, darker red tomatoes (cherry and grape tomatoes are the best). Cooking tomatoes for more than 30 minutes can more than double your uptake of lycopene (as in a pasta sauce).
Happy healthy eating!