Penn State University’s Department of Food Science has found that plant material contains active compounds that actively deter cancer and other diseases.
However, there is a rather large caveat to these findings. Vegetables which are consumed after their peak nutritional development have been found to have less of these anti-disease agents, and some – particularly those in the nightshade family, such as potatoes, eggplants, and peppers – have been found to increase levels of potentially toxic compounds.
The take-away result of these findings is simple, according to Penn State researcher Jairam Vanamala. He recommends buying vegetables locally and in season. By buying vegetables that were grown locally at the peak of ripeness, you have some assurance that the vegetables were ripened on the plant rather than picked before prime nutritional value and shipped long distances.
By educating ourselves about which fruits and vegetables are in season at any given time, we’re not only giving ourselves an immediate benefit in the nutrients our bodies will use right away, but are also banking a long-term benefit in the form of staving off cancer and other diseases.
To read a related article to this study, click here.