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Photo from flickr/~Duncan~. Creative Commons.

Eating your veggies may not be the cure-all it once was. That's because today's fruits and vegetables appear to have fewer nutrients than produce once had, according to an article from Prevention magazine and MSNBC.
"In 2004, Donald Davis, PhD, a former researcher with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, led a team that analyzed 43 fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999 and reported reductions in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Using USDA data, he found that broccoli, for example, had 130 mg of calcium in 1950. Today, that number is only 48 mg. What's going on?"
The theory is, modern agricultural techniques--reliance on synthietic fertilizer, breeding for traits like extreme size and early maturation--have left us with large but anemic vegetables.
"A different story is playing out with organic produce. 'By avoiding synthetic fertilizers, organic farmers put more stress on plants, and when plants experience stress, they protect themselves by producing phytochemicals,' explains Alyson Mitchell, PhD, a professor of nutrition science at the University of California, Davis."

The article does include tips on getting the most nutrients from your vegetables, even if you can't go organic--buy smaller veggies and bright colors, hit the farmers' market, eat them when they're fresh, and don't overcook them.
Is this something you already suspected? If so, how do you ensure you're eating the right veggies, not the wimpy ones?

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Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

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