From the HSHS Sacred Heart St. Joseph’s “Inspiring Health” magazine, Spring 2016:
Many people unnecessarily refrigerate some fruits and veggies — a mistake that can impact flavor and nutritional value. Refrigeration helps ensure perishable foods that may harbor harmful bacteria at room temperature are safe for your family to eat. Some fruits and vegetables, including lettuces and mushrooms, are perishable and need refrigeration. However, as long as they haven’t been sliced or cooked, few fruits and veggies actually require refrigeration. Here are some foods you can safely enjoy at room temperature.
- Tomatoes – a study published in Postharvest Biology and Technology found the refrigerating tomatoes may lead to discoloration and decrease the fruit’s concentration of lycopene, an antioxident that has been linked to health benefits. For the best results, store tomatoes on the counter.
- Stone fruits – peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruits are more likely to become mealy and lose their flavor when chilled. Let your peaches and nectarines ripen at room temperature, and then refrigerate them if you aren’t planning to eat them right away.
- Potatoes – according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, storing potatoes in the refrigerator causes potato starch to convert to sugar, which can affect the taste of your spuds. Shelter your potatoes from temperature extremes by storing them in a cool, dark cabinet.
To find more healthy eating tips, visit sacredhearteauclaire.org/3d-community-health-bodymindspirit and select “Wellness for Life”.