When shopping for your quota of greens, a new study suggests that checking the expiry date of salads is not enough; it is also advisable to pick greens which have more exposure to light than the ones kept in darkness at the groceries.
Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that spinach leaves exposed to light similar to the 24-hour fluorescent light in grocery stores had higher levels of nutrients than those kept in continuous darkness.
The study reveals that the continuous light affected the leaves' photosynthetic system resulting in a significant increase in levels of carotenoids and vitamins C, E, K, and B9 or folate.
While the simulated retail light conditions actually helped the stored leaves gain in content of several human-healthy vitamins, some wilting occurred after three days of storage in flat-leaf spinach, but not crinkled-leaf types.
The study has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.