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Ask the Expert Archive

What are the nutritional values of fruits and veggies as they relate to color and the cooking process?

Q. Does the values of the bell pepper hold true for any color of pepper or only green peppers? also does the values of the Brussels sprouts change when cooked and is it different if steamed vs grilled?

 

A. Green peppers are the least mature of the bell peppers. As peppers ripen their color changes to yellow, orange and then red. The nutritional value of green peppers does vary from the more mature colors. Red peppers have more vitamin C than green peppers. Red peppers are also much higher in vitamin A and beta-carotene.

 

Cooking Brussels sprouts can alter the nutritional value: some nutrients are harmed by cooking and some nutrients are more available to the body because of cooking, so eating a combination of cooked and raw fruits and vegetables is a good idea. Steaming vs grilling is mostly a matter of taste preference, any nutritional differences are minimal.

 
 
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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