3 Mistakes You Make When Picking Produce and How to Correct Them

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If you frequently find yourself in the produce aisle, that’s great. It means you’re stocking your kitchen with natural, whole foods that provide you with antioxidants, vitamins, and the nutrients your body needs to stay productive throughout the day. But there are a few common mistakes that could be preventing you from reaping the full nutritional benefits of your fruits and veggies. As a produce shopper, you’ve probably gotten a first-hand look at some of the rotting produce that can be found in grocery stores — a clear sign that some is better than others. So, how do you ensure you’re getting the ripest, freshest, and most nutrient-rich fruits and veggies? Take a look at these three common produce mistakes you should try to avoid.

1. You only buy produce once a week

While our busy lifestyles don’t allot for a ton of time to make frequent trips to grocery stores, making multiple produce trips throughout the week is something you should make time to do. Fresher produce is more nutrient-rich. Every day your fruits and veggies sit in your fridge is another day where they’re losing some of their nutrients. Women’s Health writes that you should shop for fruits and veggies as close to when you plan to eat them as possible, which may cause you to make a few extra trips to the store. Your taste buds will thank you, though! Take a look at the benefits: Your food will taste better, you won’t have to throw away rotting produce (it’s a money saver), and your body will absorb more vitamins and antioxidants when it’s eating a constant supply of fresh, nutrient-rich produce.

If you just don’t have the time to get to the store more than once a week, buy fresh produce that you’ll be sure to eat over the first few days. To ensure you continue eating your fruits and veggies after your fresh supply has run out, ABC News suggests purchasing frozen fruits and vegetables; it’s a great way to get antioxidants and nutrients, since most produce is frozen shortly after it’s harvested. Studies have shown that frozen produce is just as nutrient-rich. According to ABC News, scientists from Leatherhead Food Research and University of Chester carried out 40 tests to determine nutrient levels in produce that had been sitting in a fridge for three days compared to frozen produce. Their research actually found frozen samples had more beneficial nutrients overall. In two out of three cases, frozen produce packed higher levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein, and beta-carotene.

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