Is it worth it to eat fruit past it's prime?
- Thursday, 13 October 2011
Q: Is it worth it to eat a fruit when it's past its prime? How many of the nutrients are lost when you have waited too long to cut a watermelon? -Faith
A: That's an excellent question, but one that there is no definitive answer for, at least without coming into your kitchen to analyze the watermelon and the circumstances which surround it (temperature of your fridge, covered/uncovered, etc.). Generally, the more ripe an uncut fruit is, the more nutrients it develops; but once you cut a fruit or vegetable, the enzymes and the water-soluble nutrients (vitamin C, B vitamins) will deteriorate, sometimes quite rapidly. Fruit, especially colourful fruit, however, is rich in phytochemicals - nutrients that are responsible for the pigment and structure of the fruit - and these phytochemicals (thousands of nutrients) are not damaged with exposure to air from cutting or from the passing of time. In fact, studies show that some nutrients in fruit (including watermelon) actually increase as time goes on. Basically, if it's still edible, go ahead and eat it. If it's getting to the point where eating the fruit is not an enjoyable experience, put it in the blender or juicer and drink the powerful phytochemicals it provides instead.