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How to keep veggies healthy

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An easy way to keep your veggies fresh and nutritious is suggested by a group of seven plant biologists who have just published a paper in Current Biology:

The modular design of plants enables individual plant organs to manifest autonomous functions and continue aspects of metabolism, such as respiration, even after separation from the parent plant. Therefore, we hypothesized that harvested vegetables and fruits may retain capacity to perceive and respond to external stimuli. For example, the fitness advantage of plant circadian clock function is recognized; however, whether the clock continues to influence postharvest physiology is unclear. Here we demonstrate that the circadian clock of postharvest cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is entrainable by light-dark cycles and results in enhanced herbivore resistance. In addition, entrainment of Arabidopsis plants and postharvest cabbage causes cyclical accumulation of metabolites that function in plant defense; in edible crops, these metabolites also have potent anticancer properties. Finally, we show that the phenomena of postharvest entrainment and enhanced herbivore resistance are widespread among diverse crops. Therefore, sustained clock entrainment of postharvest crops may be a simple mechanism to promote pest resistance and nutritional value of plant-derived food.

This simply says that if you want to maximize health benefits from vegetables, try to keep it in the open as far as possible. If the harvested veggies are exposed to the day-night cycle, then they continue to produce useful healthy chemicals. It is such a simple step that we decided not to push our vegetables into the fridge unless needed.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

June 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

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