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Is the nutritional value the same when fruit or veggies are not flavorful? Most of our produce is picked green – some ripen well others not, is the nutritional worth still there when it has poor texture or/and flavor? Is color indicative?

The nutritional value of produce depends on many different factors, including weather, amount of sunlight, storage conditions and also, when it is picked. However, differences in nutrition between ripe and unripe produce are likely small since produce is usually picked when it is close to ripe. The nutrition information that is posted for fresh produce in the supermarket is based on analysis of items that were selected at the supermarket so that it reflects what you are purchasing. It is difficult to say how texture and flavor are indicative of nutritional value. In some circumstances, texture may be indicative of improper storage, which may have an influence on nutritional value. Flavor also can be a function of when the produce was picked, and how it was stored. In general, color will be an indication of ripeness. Click here for tips on selection and storage of different fruits and vegetables.

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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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