OK, so I posted on Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson a few months back, but as I continue to read this well-researched and exceptionally insightful book I am struck by the wealth of tips and techniques to gather the most nutrition out of, even supermarket, produce. Robinson’s seeming mission is to provide an in-depth understanding on how our crops function as living plants and how we can better function by exploiting the inherent nutrition within. Taking a sort of contemporary Hippocratic stance, Robinson makes the case for achieving a state of fully realized health through the selective and methodical consumption of the produce available to us. Believe it or not, the most bang for your buck doesn’t always come from raw or even fresh foods.
So here are a few tips (straight from the book) that I found either illuminating or genuinely surprising:
The healing properties of garlic can be maximized by slicing, chopping, mashing, or pressing it and then letting it rest for a full 10 minutes before cooking.
Store-bought lettuce should be taken home, rinsed and then dried. Then it should be ripped into bite-sized pieces by hand before you store it. This will increase the antioxidant activity … four-fold. The next time you eat it, it’s going to have four times as many antioxidants.
Cooking potatoes and then chilling them for about 24 hours before you eat them (even if you reheat them) turns a high-glycemic vegetable into a low- or moderate-glycemic vegetable. Paradoxically, combining potatoes with oil (French fry alert!) helps keep them from disrupting your metabolism.
The most yellow corn in the store has 35 times more beta-carotene than white corn.
Carrots are more nutritious cooked than raw. When cooked whole, they have 25 percent more falcarinol, a cancer-fighting compound, than carrots that have been sectioned before cooking.
The most nutritious tomatoes in the supermarket are not in the produce aisles—they are in the canned goods section! Processed tomatoes, whether canned or cooked into a paste or sauce, are the richest known source of lycopene. They also have the most flavor.
While most of us are neither experts in nutrition, nor published authors on the subject, some of us surely have tips on the subject. Please feel free to share such tips, or sound off on some of the advice provided by Robinson above.