I have talked with people in the produce industry and some of the findings are eye-opening. As many of you know, eating vegetables and fruits that are “in season” and “fresh” is the way to go.
Support your local farmer and farmer’s market and buy “fresh” as the produce is typically more nutrient-dense. But what about in the dead of winter? How about getting a basket of “fresh” tomatoes on the vine from the store? Well… then it may not actually be “fresh.”
If you are in a colder climate, for example, chances are the produce at your local grocery store has been trucked from a warmer climate like in California or Mexico. To get this produce here before it goes bad AND to make sure it has a shelf life, it is picked BEFORE it ripens. Some vegetables and most fruits lack nutrients if picked before they’ve ripened.
During the winter months, it may be better to get some of your vegetables and fruits frozen. They are often picked closer to vine ripe, keeping more nutrients. Processing companies blanch and quick freeze vegetables and fruits so fast that they lose few nutrients.
Frozen vegetables are better tasting and typically have fewer additives than canned. Frozen fruits are also very handy to use in smoothies or eaten whole as a frozen treat.
Experts agree. When fresh isn’t an option, frozen is the next best.
One of my favorite frozen vegetables in the winter is Okra. They are very nutritious, good for the digestive tract and high in fiber. They actually have almost no flavor and you can add them to a smoothie for extra fiber and nutrients.
I stumbled across this article and thought I’d share with you some of the benefits of Okra that they talked about.
The Benefits of Okra
Okra is a great source of fiber, helps the gut, can be used raw (or frozen) in smoothies. It is also great cooked. We like it fried with onion in a natural cooking oil like coconut oil.
Okra is Good for the Gut
- The slippery substance of Okra actually helps to coat the lining of the gut
- It has a non-fermentable fiber so that it does not irritate the gut or cause gas or bloating
Okra is Rich in Nutrients
- It is high in Vitamin A
- Contains Calcium – the type that is absorbable by our body
- It is a source of Iron – so it is great for people who are on a mostly plant-based diet because there aren’t many vegetable sources of Iron
Okra is Good for the Immune System
- Okra has a nice dose of vitamin C as well as antioxidants
- It can help the body to scavenge and remove free radicals that cause damage and chronic inflammation
We hope this has been helpful in your day and look forward to hearing from you.
Until Next time – Be Well !