Living Magazine doTERRA Summer 2017 - Page 8

E AT I N G IN I sn't modern Big Agriculture great? With a quick trip to the corner grocery store, we have every variety of fruit and vegetable available to us, regardless of what time of year it is. Fresh blueberries in your morning oatmeal in December? Sure. Fresh grape tomatoes in dinner's salad in the dead of winter? No problem. But, unless you are buying in-season produce, fresh is a bit of misnomer. Buying fruits and vegetables while they are in season ensures that you are getting the best-tasting and most nutrient-dense foods available. For optimum health and food enjoyment, spend some time learning about the harvesting seasons. True Meaning of Fresh Produce not in season makes quite the trek to your local supermarket, taking anywhere from three days to several weeks, traveling on average nearly 2,000 miles. To ensure that they don’t spoil along the way, fruits and vegetables are picked before they have reached full maturity, meaning they have not only yet to reach their peak aroma and taste, but nutritional content as well. Theoretically, they should ripen during transportation, but this isn’t always the case. After harvesting, exposure to air, temperature changes, and artificial light all result in vitamin and mineral degradation and the necessity for more preservatives. Numerous studies have shown that produce picked at maturity and either consumed immediately or flash frozen on-site have higher levels of vital nutrients than what ends up in your grocery store display. * In particular, levels of vitamin C and antioxidants are especially sensitive to early harvesting. Studies have shown that fresh vegetables can lose up to 51 percent of their vitamin C content within 48 hours of being picked. * Even when stored in refrigerated environments, vegetables can lose nearly half of their water-soluble