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The food and ingredients that come from nature give our bodies the necessary nutrition to survive, stay healthy, and be safe. Cooking with natural ingredients provides unique benefits that you can only find in fresh foods from your garden like fruits and vegetables.
With technology advancing and developing new ways to preserve food, fresh ingredients become less popular because they do not last as long as processed foods. In here, we explore the reasons why fresh food is better than processed.
Fresh vs. Processed Food
Americans eat more processed food than fresh for a number of reasons. Some are myths, some are unfortunate facts.
Fresh Healthy Food is More Expensive
Yes eating healthy is more expensive than eating unhealthy. However, according to a Harvard Study, the cost of eating healthy vs eating unhealthy isn’t as much as you might think. “Healthy foods are more expensive”, just isn’t a legitimate excuse for most. According to their research, the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than unhealthy diets. This doesn’t even factor in the long term health care costs of an unhealthy diet. Nor does it factor in the health and mood benefits of growing your own health food.
A food desert is an area in the United States where people have limited access to fresh, healthy foods. For some families, even if their inclination was to eat healthier, they may not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. More than 13.5 million people in the US live in a food desert according to the US Department of Agriculture. Most of these are urban areas where grocery stores and farmers markets are replaced by corner markets and gas stations with limited shelf space for fruits and vegetables. That said, there are ways that those that live in apartments can grow fruits and vegetables indoors.
Why is Fresh Food Better than Processed?
Assuming that you can overcome some of the barriers to access of fresh foods, we will now discuss why fresh food is better than processed.
Fresh Food Has More Vitamins and Antioxidants
Most vegetables contain considerable amounts of vitamins and natural antioxidants that help bodies fight natural threats like viruses and bacteria. Cooking fresh ingredients with oil and at high temperatures could affect these characteristics by breaking down most vitamin compounds but still leaving some intact. Processed foods have fewer natural vitamins and almost no antioxidants.
Natural Flavor of Fresh Foods
Not everyone likes the flavor of certain fruits or vegetables, which is completely normal; it’s all based on a person’s tastebuds. Transforming the flavor or adding different elements, like artificial colorants, chemicals, and spices, could damage your immune system and decrease your health. Natural flavors and fresh ingredients are the best options for your health.
Dangerous Elements in Processed Foods
People prepare food with all kinds of ingredients, some of which could add unwanted, invisible toxins that could damage your health. Small dents on cans could contaminate the food inside. Other problems, like the relationship between botulism and canned food, also derive from external factors that are difficult to detect.
Fresh Foods Provide Natural Hydration
For processed food to last longer, the natural moisture and hydration of certain elements need to disappear so that the food does not spoil. With a simple process like freezing fruits or vegetables, you can preserve hydration. However, after defrosting, the taste and the properties are different. Fresh products from your garden make a noticeable difference if you like cooking daily and enjoying natural flavors.
Fresh Food Consistency
Natural foods, including vegetables, fruits, and even meats, change over time. Natural food’s nutritional value, minerals, and consistency change based on its age. Fresh food is better than processed because it aligns with the natural cycle of our bodies without adding strange elements.