A problem with modern fruits and veggies

Most people think that "fruits and veggies" in general are all healthy.  This is true to some extent. 

However, we're not quite eating the fruits and veggies that nature intended us to eat... if that sounds strange to you, let me explain...

You see, the fruits and vegetables that we have at our grocery stores currently have been bred over the years to maximize sugar content, size, and appearance.  Therefore, the nutritional content of these fruits and veggies has diminished over the years as produce has been bred for sweetness or size instead of nutrition.

This means that although our fruits and veggies may still have relatively good micro-nutrient and antioxidant content (compared to processed foods), today's modern agricultural fruits and veggies are a far cry from what we would have eaten in the wild tens of thousands of years ago.  Those wild fruits and veggies were far more nutrient dense than what we're eating these days.

You can see this trend with any "wild" version of a fruit vs an agriculturally grown version.  Just take agricultural blueberries vs wild blueberries as an example... some ORAC (antioxidant measurement) reporting shows wild blueberries to have almost double the antioxidant levels of some cultivated blueberries.

Another issue is soil depletion from abused soils over decades of farming... You see, the massive amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers actually KILLS off a lot of the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil that allows plant roots to properly absorb minerals and other nutrients out of the soil.  Essentially, our soils have been abused by chemicals which has damaged the microbial balance of soils just like you can damage the microbial balance in your gut by eating chemical-laced junk foods.

As you can see, both of these aspects combined (hybridized plants bred for size and appearance over nutrition, and also damaged soils) means that even if we eat lots of fruits and veggies in today's age, we still may be getting significantly less antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals compared to what we were meant to get in nature eating more "wild" varieties of fruits and veggies.

That's one of the main reasons I also started recently supplementing with a superfoods drink like Athletic Greens each day... this is one of my favorites because it has WAY more than just a few random greens also contains components from high ORAC berries, mushrooms, and dozens of other superfoods (a total of 76 superfood ingredients), all mixed into a pretty tasty drink.  This is by far the best tasting greens drink I've ever had in my has a nice lightly sweetened taste, but uses natural stevia as the sweetener.

I actually personally know the owner of the Athletic Greens company (actually just had breakfast with him this morning on a trip I'm on in California), and I can tell you that he is very passionate about the quality of this product...they didn't cut any corners on sourcing the highest quality ingredients for producing Athletic Greens.  (best tasting greens drink in my opinion, and most complete ingredients)

Back to choosing healthier fruits and veggies... as I mentioned "wild" varieties are best, but apparently "heirloom" varieties may be higher in nutrients too and have had less breeding for sweetness and appearance than typical supermarket varieties. 

In addition, choosing organic versions is generally a step in the right direction and also obtaining your produce as much as possible from a local organic farmer, your own garden, or local produce stands or farmers markets can help to obtain produce with higher nutrient levels than typical supermarket produce.

One more thing I do to try to increase the amount of antioxidants I get daily to account for our slightly lower quality fruits and veggies in today's age is to use high antioxidant spices as much as I can such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, basil, oregano, etc.  Do you realize how powerful spices are for your health? 

Check out this article I co-authored about the power of spices for your body:

The top 10 "super-spices" that protect your body and boost metabolism

To your health,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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