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The Ultimate Guide to Storing Food in the Fridge and Freezer [Infographic]

The Ultimate Guide to Storing Food in the Fridge and Freezer [Infographic]

While it’s a pretty straightforward decision for some foods, with others, it can be tough to know exactly what should be stored in the fridge and what would be better off in the freezer.

And there’s currently a lot of debate over whether we should really believe the expiration dates that we see on our food’s packaging, as you can see in this Time article, but it’s really important that you don’t take unnecessary risks.

Get it wrong, and best case scenario you have to chuck something out and let it go to waste, or worst case scenario, you and your family wind up with food poisoning!

Why Is It So Important?

Your fridge and freezer aren’t just big cupboards to shove food in, they perform very special functions, keeping all of your groceries fresh and at the optimum temperature.

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Food generally needs to be kept at a lower temperature so that bacteria and other microbes can’t grow and ruin your food, but some things can be left for much longer than others.

Most things clearly just come down to common sense, but with things such as seafood which can be dangerous if not stored properly, it can help to know exactly how long it’s safe to keep things for.

While there are many resources out there on the internet telling us how best to prepare our meals, there’s actually a surprising lack of information on how best to store it.

And while the taste of our meals is obviously important, safety always needs to be your first consideration when it comes to food.

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Of course, the answer to how long you should store food depends on how quickly you plan to consume it, but there are some rough guidelines which you can follow.

What Temperature Should My Fridge Be?

Firstly, your fridge should have a temperature of somewhere between 3˚C (37˚F) and 5˚C (41˚F).

If your fridge is any warmer than this, you risk the food going off, and any colder and your food will lose valuable nutrients and fresh foods can be spoiled.

As for the freezer -18˚C (0˚F) is an ideal temperature which will keep your food safe and stop bacteria from forming.

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The Guide

Thankfully, this great guide to storing food in the fridge and freezer from SousVideTools.com gives some handy guidelines on how long you can store everything from meat, poultry, seafood to dairy, fruit and veg.

Here are some of the key points from the infographic below:

  •  Most fish and seafood will last around two days in the fridge (a little longer if cooked).
  • Fruit and veg will last longer (closer to a week).
  • The general rule is that milk will last a week in the fridge, but always have a quick sniff to make sure it’s ok!
  • Cheese and butter are longer lasting dairy products and it will be ok for as long as three to four months.
  • A lot of food can be frozen for as long as six to twelve months (although it could come out a little mushy once you defrost it).

Remember: these are just guidelines. As you can see, the amount of time foods can safely be stored can vary greatly, and you should always use your judgement and not consume anything which looks or smells like it has seen better days.

Also remember that many items are better off not being stored in the fridge at all. For example, onions and potatoes are probably better in a cool low moisture environment such as a dark cupboard.

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You can check the infographic out for yourself and maybe even print it out and stick it on your fridge!

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    Featured photo credit: Sous Vide Tools via sousvidetools.com

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    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

    15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and black tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here:

    11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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