Certain foods you think last forever may actually lose valuable nutrients during the months they linger in your pantry. So we surveyed a dozen experts to find out what’s at risk—and learned some tips for prolonging your food’s nutritional shelf life.
Antioxidants decrease an average of 32 percent after six months on the shelf, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Food Science. These antioxidants—known as catechins—may decrease your risk of several types of cancer, but they are sensitive to both oxygen and light. Sadly, tea, unlike wine, does not improve with age.
Make it last: “Buy tea in airtight packages such as tins, rather than cellophane wraps, which air can penetrate,” says Rona Tison of ITO EN, the world’s largest supplier of green tea. Store your tea bags in sealed, opaque canisters in a cool spot. “Green tea is more sensitive to heat than black tea, so place your sealed container in the refrigerator to keep the leaves fresh and healthy for as long as possible,” she says.
Canned tomato juice loses 50 percent of its lycopene (an antioxidant) after three months in the refrigerator—even when it’s unopened, says a study inFood Chemistry. Similarly, scientists in Spain have found that the lycopene in ketchup deteriorates over time. That’s a shame because it’s a potent antioxidant that may fight many forms of cancer and heart disease and even strengthen bones. more —–via 7 Common Foods That Spoil Sooner Than You Think | Women’s Health Magazine.