Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are very nutritious but the fact is that by taking a couple of simple steps you can actually boost both the flavor and the actual nutritional value of your fresh produce.

A lot of people think that fresh fruit and vegetables are effectively dead once they have been harvested, but this is not, in fact, the case. They continue to respire even when stored in a refrigerator, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. This activity uses up their stores of sugars and antioxidants, which means they will have lost a bit of their natural sweetness and contain fewer antioxidants by the time you consume them. Some fruits and vegetables do this more quickly than others and should thus be eaten as soon as possible, such as artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, corn, lettuce, okra, raspberries, snap beans, strawberries, arugula, broccoli, cherries, kale, mushrooms, parsley, scallions and spinach.

If purchased from a local farmer or grown at home, soft vegetables and fruits like berries offer incomparable nutrition and flavor.