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Proper nutrition during quarantine: how to eat more vegetables

'03.04.2020'

Source: RBC Style

As recommended by Harvard School of Public Health, about half your plate should be vegetables. "RBK Style" offers to figure out how to do this under quarantine, when procurement should be carried out as rarely as possible.

Photo: Shutterstock

Frozen foods are often seen as a concession to circumstances, a miserable copy of the original. Indeed, freshly picked fruits and vegetables are considered the most useful, including emotionally: ripped raspberries with their own hands brings more pleasure than frozen, there is nothing to argue about.

But these are, nevertheless, ideal conditions that even without a pandemic are poorly integrated into everyday life. Once fruits and vegetables have been harvested, the vitamin content begins to decrease along with the loss of water and the growth of bacteria. How substantial and fast this happens depends on the specific product and storage method, according to a detailed study by the University of California at Davis.

At room temperature, the content of vitamin C in green peas decreases by half in 48 hours, and in spinach - by 100% in just four days. In the refrigerator, these processes slow down, but after a week of storage, the indicators of fresh and frozen products are more or less equal. They are not the same for all products, but this difference is not so significant as to deny yourself vegetables due to the fact that when frozen they are less useful.

On the subject: Milk, bread and 12 other products that can be stored in the freezer during quarantine

In addition, when choosing, you need to take into account that for freezing vegetables and fruits are usually harvested at the peak of ripening, when they are most useful, that is, even taking into account the loss of the content of nutrients, they can compete with non-seasonal fresh products.

The vitamin content in fresh fruits can also decrease during transport, and frozen foods are much easier to transport and store, including at home. That is why a selection of your favorite frozen vegetables in the freezer no longer seems like a compromise.

What to cook

The main complaint about frozen products is that after thawing, their texture changes. This is especially true for berries, celery, zucchini - in other words, everything that contains a lot of fresh water. These products are best used for dishes requiring further heat treatment: soups, compotes, pies, as well as for stewing and steaming.

Use your favorite spices, dried herbs, add seeds or nuts - and even familiar dishes will acquire new shades of taste. Fruits and berries from the freezer are suitable for adding to cereals and yoghurts, you can make smoothies from them. The latter are usually not approved by nutritionists due to the fact that added sugar is often found in their composition. But, nevertheless, if you prepare smoothies at home, you can fully control the composition and include in it only what you want, including those wholesome products that in their pure form do not seem very tasty. It is important to remember that smoothies cannot completely replace the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, but are quite suitable for a change.

On the subject: 10 delicious quarantine-free diet foods from around the world

What else can you freeze

Frozen meat, fish and poultry are stored for up to six months. It is only important to defrost them correctly: not at room temperature, but in the refrigerator, even if it takes more time. You can send bread to the freezer. It is better to cut it into slices in advance so that it can be portioned and cooked: heat in a toaster or turn into croutons. You can freeze cooked cereals, grated cheese, sauces, broths, dough. This is useful if you want to optimize the cooking process (for example, cook 1-2 days a week) or if you have more food than you need right now.

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