New study suggests link between nutritional value of produce and time of day


Vegetables may actually be more healthy to eat if you prepare and consume them during the daylight hours.

There’s little doubt that consuming healthy foods like fruits and vegetables is good for your body. From promoting robust gastrointestinal health to providing a naturally beneficial form of energy, these green products are heartily recommended by every doctor and nutritionist on the planet. Yet a new study has suggested that there may be more to eating these items than simply tossing them into a bowl and chowing down.

According to researchers from Rice University, eating fruits and vegetables that are readily exposed to sunlight may provide additional advantages in the form of organic chemicals produced by the plants themselves. The premise, explained in a press release from Rice, is that these foods don’t actually “die” when they are harvested. Rather, they enter a new biologic state that persists even until you bring them home and pop them in the refrigerator.

“Vegetables and fruits don’t die the moment they are harvested,” Janet Braam, the lead investigator from the university, said in a statement. “They respond to their environment for days, and we found we could use light to coax them to make more cancer-fighting antioxidants at certain times of day.”

While more research has already been scheduled at Rice and abroad, the discovery could have huge implications for nutritional science. By adapting existing food storage practices to these new findings, those who consume fruits and vegetables may be able to benefit even more.

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