The benefits of eating fresh food vary, depending on how fresh the food actually is and whether it was organically grown or if chemical fertilizers were used in growing fruits and vegetables. The main benefit of eating fresh food is that it tastes better than food that has been frozen or canned. Dietitians, nutritionists, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that we should try to eat five fruits and vegetables each day, and that eating nine of these is even better. Fresh food, as well as canned or frozen fruits and vegetables have the same benefits, according to these sources. It is best to choose colorful produce to ensure that your body will get all of the nutrients you need each day. By eating a variety of these, you will get the benefits of eating fresh food such as the multiple vitamins and minerals they provide.
The benefit of eating fresh food is that it acts like medicine for our bodies. Each time you eat an orange or drink a citrus juice, your body is getting Vitamin C as well as folic acid and lutein which inhibits mild depression, heart disease, and helps the body get rid of carcinogens that may be there. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and radishes protect the body’s DNA from oxidants and help it detoxify carcinogens. These vegetables also eliminate old estrogen and testosterone from the body. We also need to eat eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes because they can reduce blood pressure, prevent prostate cancer, and protect the lungs from cigarette smoke. Watermelon, squash, pumpkin, and cantaloupe help prevent cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Other foods are helpful as well, such as peanuts, peas, soybeans, lentils, and beans that improve glucose control in diabetics and reduce hot flashes and cholesterol. Garlic, onion, chives, leeks, asparagus, and scallions also inhibit cancer growth, decrease cholesterol, and help the immune system to work properly. Almonds, apples, plums, pears, and apricots help prevent fungus infections, reduce cholesterol, and stop the growth of tumors. With all of these benefits, it is easy to see how fresh food really is a type of medicine that keeps our bodies healthy.
Fresh foods also include fresh meats. The U.S. had many meat markets or butchers thirty or forty years ago, but there are only a few left in many areas. Most have been driven out by large supermarkets who buy directly from farmers. Fresh meat is also important to the human body as a protein source. It is possible to get enough protein from a vegetarian diet that includes a great variety of vegetables, beans, and lentils.
Fresh dairy products are also found in supermarkets in the form of milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Dairy products are needed by the body as a source of calcium, although this mineral is available in smaller amounts in some vegetables. It is not possible to go to a dairy farm and buy fresh milk in the U.S. because of U.S. Department of Agriculture stipulations that milk be pasteurized. This requires processing at milk plants.
The benefits of eating fresh food are that it tastes good, it is good for our bodies, and it is readily available in every city of town. Fresh meat is produced year-round, so beef, chicken, and occasional lamb are available as well as plenty of seafood.
Although supermarkets in the U.S. sell mostly fresh meat, it is possible to get some processed meat products. There is some controversy around the healthiness of these items due to the preservatives that are used in producing them. Most people who are aware of healthy eating try to avoid processed foods and eat fresh foods whenever possible.