Storing Food and its Nutritional Value

Part of your goal of eating healthy is to make sure you’re getting what you think you’re getting from your food in terms of its nutritional value. Consider the suggestions below for making sure that the food you’re consuming hasn’t lost its nutritional value.

You can choose frozen fish for nutritional needs because numerous studies confirm that fish, especially fish that’s frozen shortly after it’s caught retains the healthful benefits of raw fish. Naturally, storing fish in your freezer for longer than a year is not recommended.

Consider choosing frozen or canned varieties of vegetables that lose nutrients quickly such as spinach which has been shown to lose a tremendous amount of folate after simply a few days. While the food still appears good to eat it is not as nutritionally valuable as it was at the time of buy. Canned spinach actually gets a majority of good reviews as a means of storing spinach that retains its nutritional value. Other ingredients such as sodium can be drawbacks to choosing canned vegetables.

You can choose day-old bread because stale bread is largely considered to have the same nutrients as its fresh counterpart.

Antioxidant levels in food drops over time even when the food itself has not gone bad. Replace items you have in your kitchen such as olive oil or green tea after six months when antioxidant levels are likely to have dropped by at least a third.

Milk can be frozen for up to three weeks without losing its nutrition benefits. A greater concern for dairy products is the prevention of spoiling or changes in consistency from freezing rather than the loss of nutrients.

Certain items such as garlic that tend to sit in your refrigerator may lose their nutritional benefits and should be replaced after about 10 days to retain nutritional value. An alternative is to buy minced garlic in a jar which much research indicates has the same health benefits as fresh garlic and lasts longer in the refrigerator than fresh garlic.

Most of the processed foods you buy will retain their nutritional value. Paying attention to shelf life is helpful to assure the food retains its flavor rather than its nutrients.

It is a good practice to cook enough food for meals without accumulating a lot of leftovers to preserve the nutritional value of your food. Many nutrients are lost during oxidation, when food is in the open air so that while the food is out during a meal it is susceptible to nutrient loss. Another source of lost nutrients frequently comes from cooking so that reheating can remove nutrients from food. While the safety of eating leftovers can extend to about four days when stored properly, the nutritional value is reduced.

Ensuring that your food provides you with the nutrition you expect depends on how and how long you store food. Use the above suggestions to incorporate food storage habits that will retain the nutritional benefits in the foods you buy.