How to store vegetables so that they do not lose their nutritional value?

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Properly stored vegetables will retain their valuable properties and provide us with health throughout the year.At what temperature and where to keep vegetables so that they do not lose their nutritional value?

Why dietitians recommend that you eat vegetables every day?In addition to containing essential vitamins and minerals for the body, vegetables are the best source of dietary fiber, which regulates the work of the intestines, lowers cholesterol, cleanses the body, and filling the stomach, makes us faster.

Vegetables – nutritional values

Some vegetables have a lot of protein (green peas, broad beans, corn, Brussels sprouts, kale) and starch (corn, green peas, broad beans, parsley root, celery).Kale, carrots, leafy vegetables, pumpkin, squash and broccoli provide a lot of beta-carotene, and cruciferous vegetables, peppers, horseradish, parsley and spinach – a lot of vitamin C. Thanks to this, they protect us against free radicals, preventing the aging of the body.

Vegetables, especially green, are also a rich source of B vitamins (necessary for the nervous system), especially folic acid and vitamin PP (niacin) and vitamin K. Chard, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, spinach and parsley are rich source of vitamin E.

In vegetables you will also find valuable minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium.Thanks to this, they have alkalizing properties.They participate in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance of the body.In addition, they counteract obesity, lower blood pressure, prevent infections, heart and cardiovascular diseases and some cancers.They also have bactericidal and fungicidal properties.

Why dietitians recommend that you eat vegetables every day?In addition to containing essential vitamins and minerals for the body, vegetables are the best source of dietary fiber, which regulates the work of the intestines, lowers cholesterol, cleanses the body, and filling the stomach, makes us faster.

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Vegetables – the best fresh

Of course, the tastiest and healthiest vegetables are straight from the garden, but we can only eat them seasonally.Those that are available in winter or spring, do not have such a taste and so many valuable vitamins.During the long storage in vegetables there are many intense processes that reduce their quality and nutritional value.Why?It turns out that the carrots, parsley or beet that we keep in the cellar still have enzymes.Thanks to them, vegetables grow, mature and … breathe.

Breathing of plants is based on the fact that complex compounds are broken down, e.g. starch or pectin (soluble fiber).As a result, simple sugars – glucose – are formed.After 3-4 months of storage parsley or celery contain less starch and pectin, and more simple sugars.They lose their firmness and are lighter than those straight from the garden.

In addition, under the influence of enzymes contained in plants, also organic acids and vitamins are broken down, especially vitamin C (cabbage loses about 18 percent of vitamin C, and potatoes 70 percent).

But it is not everything.It is worth remembering that vegetables contain as much as 80-90 percent.water (leafy vegetables up to 95%).During storage, the water evaporates through the skin, and the vegetables wilt, lose their firmness and freshness.Therefore, they are less resistant to attack by microorganisms and fungi.So they break down faster.

But in stored vegetables there are also favorable changes associated with the ripening of plants.Their color changes, eg chlorophyll disappears in tomatoes and paprika, and precious carotenes are produced, eg lycopene.Essential oils are also produced – substances responsible for the aroma of vegetables, for example in garlic, onions, carrots and parsley.

How to store vegetables to avoid nutrient losses?

If vegetables are stored at the right temperature and humidity, they will retain their quality for longer.Admittedly, it will not stop unfavorable processes, but it can slow down them significantly.

For example, decreasing the temperature by 10 ° C two or three times slows the speed of some processes.However, too high temperature and low humidity of the room in which we store vegetables causes them to wither and dry out.High temperature and too high humidity favors the development of mold and vegetable rot.And vegetable storage with light access causes the breakdown of sugars, facilitates the production of green shoots in root vegetables and germination of potatoes.

We should also remember that under no circumstances should we store vegetables in tightly sealed foil packs.During breathing plants produce a lot of heat – they heat up and rot quickly.

Root vegetables, carrots, parsley, celery, beets, leeks and cabbage can be stored in higher ambient humidity in the temperature of 1 to 4 ° C, for example in unheated basements.They can be laid loosely or put into boxes and pour moist damp so that they do not dry out.Cabbages and pores for storage should not be washed.They have a thin wax film that protects them from water evaporation.

Onions and garlic require low air humidity and temperatures between 1-7 degrees Celsius. It is best to store them in airy places (attics, gazebos).Remember, however, not to overdo them.It is good to tie them in bunches and hang them or arrange them in boxes.

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Check also: Diet for women – know-how!

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Time of storing vegetables in the pantry

4-6 months at approx. 1 ° C. Beetroot, onion, garlic, horseradish, carrot, parsley, radish, scallion, root celery, leek, white cabbage, Italian, red.

A few weeks at a temperature of 10 ° C kohlrabi, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, brussels sprouts, zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, paprika, immature tomatoes and celery.

Not longer than 2 weeks at 10-12 ° C green broad bean, broccoli, chicory, green beans and cucumbers.

2-3 days at about 12 degrees C green peas, sweetcorn, ripe tomatoes, parsley, dill, chives, radishes, lettuce, sorrel, asparagus, spinach.

Remember not to store tomatoes with other vegetables in one place.Tomatoes produce ethylene when breathing.This substance accelerates the respiration and germination of certain vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, head cabbage, brussels sprouts, cucumbers and spinach.

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You can read also: The good side of nitrates

Posted on: January 8, 2019

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