T Nation

Top Vegetables & Fruits

So what fruits and vegetables would you rank up there as being the best for you? I’m wondering because when I walk down the fruit and vegetable isle I have no clue what to get. So T-Nation what fruits and vegetables would you recommend?

All of them. A wide variety is better than relying on just a couple of the “best.”

I’d say get what you will eat a lot of, for me spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, and avocados.

[quote]litespeed wrote:
All of them. A wide variety is better than relying on just a couple of the “best.”[/quote]

Exaclty. Everyone in this country wants to get the best of everything. Best this. Best that. But what they dont realize is a little bit of all varieties of fruits and vegetables is best. Instead of gorging on 2 of “best for you” Eat all in moderation and you will have a better center well being.

Hi,
I hope you all don’t mind me adding to this thread some of my ideas on the best fruits and veggies.

I would first of all say as far as quality. Some of the best produce is going to be anything that is grown and produced in your particular area. If you can get produce from a local farm or farm market that was grown locally that will be the produce that has the highest quality and I also think nutritional value also.

Since locally grown produce didn’t have to spend days on a truck and then another few days sitting in a wharehouse to get to your table it will have the freshest flavor and from what I believe the most nutrients as well. Local produce will be less likely to be exposed to temperature changes and therefore will also last longer once you get it to your home.
So, anyway…eat local!

Besides that, try and get a variety of colors of veggies and fruits. Each different color of vegetable and fruit has a different variety of phytochemicles in them. So, try to hit all the colors!

Variety is key as other posters have already mentioned. Not only are the different colors going to be good for you, they will make your foods look interesting and appealing. Ok, you are now saying “so what?”…why would I want to make my food look good? I’m just going to eat it. Well, most taste and enjoyment comes from first seeing your food, then smelling it and lastly tasting it. Point being, if you can make your food look appealing, you will be more likely to enjoy it and therefore more likely to eat it again and again.

Here is a list of some of MY favorite veggies and fruits:

[center]Cabbages (chinese especially)
Cauliflower (all colors)
Brussel Sprouts
Broccolis
Broccoflower
Bok Choys
Radish
Daikon
Arugala
Watercress
Peppers (all colors)
Onions (all varieties)
Baby Spinach
Asparagus
Green Beans
Yellow Wax Beans
Jicama
Hot peppers (all kinds)

Fruits:
Apples (esp. granny smith or green)
Apricots
Bananas
Black Berries
Blueberries
Cherries, Sweet
Figs Raw
Gooseberries
Grapes (esp champagne grapes)
Kiwis
Lychee (OMG! Soooo good)
Mango
Melons all varieties
Mulberries
Nectarine
Oranges (blood orange cool looking and great tasting)
Papaya
Peach
Pears (esp Asian pears, cruncy delicious)
Pineapple fresh (worth the work)
Plums
Quince (great roasted with pork)
Raisins
Raspberries
Strawberries
Tomato, Raw (is it a fruit? is it a veggie? either way, it’s great)
Watermelon [/center]

And that’s just my short list!
Have fun in the produce isle…
Eat local, eat variety and enjoy your fruits and veggies!


Excellent thread. This needs a sticky!

[quote]Chef Lisa Marie wrote:
Hi,
I hope you all don’t mind me adding to this thread some of my ideas on the best fruits and veggies.

I would first of all say as far as quality. Some of the best produce is going to be anything that is grown and produced in your particular area. If you can get produce from a local farm or farm market that was grown locally that will be the produce that has the highest quality and I also think nutritional value also.

Since locally grown produce didn’t have to spend days on a truck and then another few days sitting in a wharehouse to get to your table it will have the freshest flavor and from what I believe the most nutrients as well. Local produce will be less likely to be exposed to temperature changes and therefore will also last longer once you get it to your home.
So, anyway…eat local!

Besides that, try and get a variety of colors of veggies and fruits. Each different color of vegetable and fruit has a different variety of phytochemicles in them. So, try to hit all the colors!

Variety is key as other posters have already mentioned. Not only are the different colors going to be good for you, they will make your foods look interesting and appealing. Ok, you are now saying “so what?”…why would I want to make my food look good? I’m just going to eat it. Well, most taste and enjoyment comes from first seeing your food, then smelling it and lastly tasting it. Point being, if you can make your food look appealing, you will be more likely to enjoy it and therefore more likely to eat it again and again.

Here is a list of some of MY favorite veggies and fruits:

[center]Cabbages (chinese especially)
Cauliflower (all colors)
Brussel Sprouts
Broccolis
Broccoflower
Bok Choys
Radish
Daikon
Arugala
Watercress
Peppers (all colors)
Onions (all varieties)
Baby Spinach
Asparagus
Green Beans
Yellow Wax Beans
Jicama
Hot peppers (all kinds)

Fruits:
Apples (esp. granny smith or green)
Apricots
Bananas
Black Berries
Blueberries
Cherries, Sweet
Figs Raw
Gooseberries
Grapes (esp champagne grapes)
Kiwis
Lychee (OMG! Soooo good)
Mango
Melons all varieties
Mulberries
Nectarine
Oranges (blood orange cool looking and great tasting)
Papaya
Peach
Pears (esp Asian pears, cruncy delicious)
Pineapple fresh (worth the work)
Plums
Quince (great roasted with pork)
Raisins
Raspberries
Strawberries
Tomato, Raw (is it a fruit? is it a veggie? either way, it’s great)
Watermelon [/center]

And that’s just my short list!
Have fun in the produce isle…
Eat local, eat variety and enjoy your fruits and veggies!

[/quote]

That list is making me hungry.

Our local farmers market returns on Saturday… I can hardly wait!

Nothing tastes better than freshly picked fruits and vegetables.

Now I am off to research Lychee.

[quote]Chef Lisa Marie wrote:
Hi,
I hope you all don’t mind me adding to this thread some of my ideas on the best fruits and veggies.

I would first of all say as far as quality. Some of the best produce is going to be anything that is grown and produced in your particular area. If you can get produce from a local farm or farm market that was grown locally that will be the produce that has the highest quality and I also think nutritional value also.

Since locally grown produce didn’t have to spend days on a truck and then another few days sitting in a wharehouse to get to your table it will have the freshest flavor and from what I believe the most nutrients as well. Local produce will be less likely to be exposed to temperature changes and therefore will also last longer once you get it to your home.
So, anyway…eat local!

Besides that, try and get a variety of colors of veggies and fruits. Each different color of vegetable and fruit has a different variety of phytochemicles in them. So, try to hit all the colors!

Variety is key as other posters have already mentioned. Not only are the different colors going to be good for you, they will make your foods look interesting and appealing. Ok, you are now saying “so what?”…why would I want to make my food look good? I’m just going to eat it. Well, most taste and enjoyment comes from first seeing your food, then smelling it and lastly tasting it. Point being, if you can make your food look appealing, you will be more likely to enjoy it and therefore more likely to eat it again and again.

Here is a list of some of MY favorite veggies and fruits:

[center]Cabbages (chinese especially)
Cauliflower (all colors)
Brussel Sprouts
Broccolis
Broccoflower
Bok Choys
Radish
Daikon
Arugala
Watercress
Peppers (all colors)
Onions (all varieties)
Baby Spinach
Asparagus
Green Beans
Yellow Wax Beans
Jicama
Hot peppers (all kinds)

Fruits:
Apples (esp. granny smith or green)
Apricots
Bananas
Black Berries
Blueberries
Cherries, Sweet
Figs Raw
Gooseberries
Grapes (esp champagne grapes)
Kiwis
Lychee (OMG! Soooo good)
Mango
Melons all varieties
Mulberries
Nectarine
Oranges (blood orange cool looking and great tasting)
Papaya
Peach
Pears (esp Asian pears, cruncy delicious)
Pineapple fresh (worth the work)
Plums
Quince (great roasted with pork)
Raisins
Raspberries
Strawberries
Tomato, Raw (is it a fruit? is it a veggie? either way, it’s great)
Watermelon [/center]

And that’s just my short list!
Have fun in the produce isle…
Eat local, eat variety and enjoy your fruits and veggies!

[/quote]

Thanks, this post is very informative and has helped me.

[quote]David Barr wrote:
Excellent thread. This needs a sticky![/quote]

Damn skippy. I’ll second that.

That is an impressive list. Gave me a few ideas.

Colorful fruits and vegetables have the most antioxidants/phytonutrients- this is what makes them so colorful. It is important to have a wide variety of produce throughout the day. Pineapple, red grapes, spinach, kale, broccoli here. The next day try having red gala apples, coconut, strawberries/blue berries, lettuce, and more broccoli.

kale is my staple veg, much like chicken breast is my staple protein. but as stated above get all kinds of fruits/veg. try the rainbow strategy - start breakfast with red (apple) then lunch with orange (orange), mid day go yellow (squash) and night green (kale). next day start with blue (blueberries) and then purple for lunch (grapes).

keep going like that and its an easy way to get all the phytochemicals in.

another thing does the texture of fruits and vegetables affect the quality much? What im wondering is what type of texture should I be looking for when im searching in the produce section. Ive seen so far to look for the colorfull ones, any other advice on texture to look for?

[quote]Brahms wrote:
kale is my staple veg, much like chicken breast is my staple protein. but as stated above get all kinds of fruits/veg. try the rainbow strategy - start breakfast with red (apple) then lunch with orange (orange), mid day go yellow (squash) and night green (kale). next day start with blue (blueberries) and then purple for lunch (grapes).

keep going like that and its an easy way to get all the phytochemicals in.[/quote]

how do you prepare kale ?

Ok, so I admit I didn’t read through all the posts, but I thought I’d refer you to an article that’s a good start.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-212-diet

[quote]swivel wrote:

how do you prepare kale ?

[/quote]

I like to use my kale is soups or stews. Here’s a MAN FRIENDLY stew you can make in a slow cooker if you have one.

[center]Kale and Lentil Stew[/center]

Ingredients
1 cup lentils
7 cup water
4 cup (about 1 lb) chopped kale or spinach or chard
(tear the leaves of the kale/spinach/chard into 1/2" strips)
1 large. onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (I used celery salt here)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 med. carrot, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 bay leaf (remove before eating!)
1/4 t ground thyme
1-2 T miso (or if you don’t want to eat soy Worcestershire sauce works, too)
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
Lots of fresh ground pepper

Method

  1. Place the ingredients in a crockpot.
  2. Turn to low if leaving for a long while. If not turn to high until it reaches a simmer then turn down to med for about 1 hours.

*** This can be frozen into containers and just pulled out and re-heated in the microwave.

** Also makes a great stuffing for Chicken breasts after it’s cooked.
Just cut your chicken in half place in a baking dish.
Place a large spoon full of the stew into the middle, fold over salt and pepper top of chicken and rub with olive oil.
Bake on 400 for about 15-20 minutes.

**Cool…Two recipes for the price of none!

mmmmmmmmm I just started eating acai and goji berries…sooooo good!

Here’s another super simple and QUICK Kale recipe for you…

[center]Kale with Garlic[/center]

Ingredients
1 bunch kale, washed and torn (stems removed)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbsp Champagne or Balsamic Vinegar

Method

  1. Heat oil in large pan.
  2. Add chopped garlic.
  3. Sautee until fragrant (a few seconds).
  4. Add torn kale.
  5. Toss with garlic.
  6. Cook until kale is wilted and tender, do not cover or it will turn brown.
    7.Sprinkle with a tiny bit of champagne or balsamic vinegar if desired right before serving.

[quote]Chef Lisa Marie wrote:
Here’s another super simple and QUICK Kale recipe for you…

[/quote]

awesome ! this looks good… does it throw off enough water to wilt itself ? i read this recipe and i’m tempted to drop in a few tbsp of veg stock or wine or something…

As Chad Waterbury says
" eat a rainbow!!!"

roy g biv, the colors of the rainbow,

red (like apple)
orange (like well um… yup orange)
yellow (banana)
green (apple or grapes exct…)
blue (blue berries)
indigo ( maybe plums???)
violet (???)

(but some fruits and veggies do not come in a few of these colors:)

Add veggies according to colors as well.

[quote]swivel wrote:
does it throw off enough water to wilt itself ?

i read this recipe and i’m tempted to drop in a few tbsp of veg stock or wine or something…
[/quote]

I guess it depends how fresh it was and how much water is stored in it’s cells. Usually it will leach out enough water from it’s cells to wilt itself nicely but, if not feel free to supplement with a bit of stock or even water then finish with the vinegar.

If you add wine to it the acid will turn it brown…that’s why I just finish with the vinegar so I can keep it nice and bright green.