Botanical Diversity Unlocks the Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Journal of Nutrition pic
Journal of Nutrition

Colin Mahoney guides Crete Coatings in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and offers a full range of concrete flooring solutions. He and his Chapel Hill team take pride in providing end results that are attractive, durable, and cost-effective. In his free time, Colin Mahoney enjoys running and was a vegetarian for several years. To this day, he enjoys meals that are plentiful in vegetables and fruits.

A key to maintaining an optimally balanced diet is to aim for complexity rather than focusing on one specific type of fruit or vegetable. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that a diet that is botanically diverse offered a wider range of phytochemicals and led to significantly higher antioxidant activity.

At the same time, preparation matters, with a small amount of cooking ideal for most vegetables. While raw foods retain higher amounts of certain nutrients, such as Vitamin C, this does not hold true across the board. Gentle cooking, such as steaming for a couple minutes, has been shown to be a release mechanism for many types of plant-based vitamins and oxidants. An elevated presence of antioxidant activity is found in cooked cabbage, green pepper, carrots, and asparagus.