The Health Benefits And Vitamin Levels Of Vegetables

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The health benefits and vitamin levels of vegetables as projected by nutrition facts panels and dietary indexes may be drastically decreased by common cooking methods and freezing—especially Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble and highly heat labile molecule synonymous to L-ascorbic acid, an essential nutrient for humans and other animal species. L-ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant in that it destroys free radicals, an especially reactive atom or group of atoms that has one or more unpaired electrons. Free radicals are created in the body naturally and can also be introduced by an external source and are able to damage cells, protein, and DNA by altering their chemical structure (merriam-webster.com). Because of the potential health hazards of insufficient Vitamin C intake, further research on decreased Vitamin C levels in common vegetables is vital.
The purpose of this project is to solidify the differences in the Vitamin C content of fresh and frozen raw vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower), as well as the Vitamin C content of those fresh and frozen samples after undergoing common cooking methods. For this experiment to be applicable to the largest amount of people, commonly consumed and relatively inexpensive vegetables must be cooked using common cooking methods. However, the selected vegetable must have high levels of Vitamin C in order to best analyze the results. Because of these limitations, some of the most commonly consumed vegetables, including potatoes,
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