An eXtension report on post farming of fruits and vegetables describes how produce stay as living organisms even after being detached from a plant. Produce, like tissues in other living organisms continues to respire throughout its life beyond harvest. This respiration process is very similar to that happening in a human being. Respiration burns stored carbohydrates using oxygen, releasing energy, CO2 and water. As expiration continues, more energy from a produce is lost along with molecular compounds that affect flavor, sweetness, weight and nutrition.
People prefers to eat fresh produce as it makes them feel more energetic and content. The energetic feeling from eating fresh produce may be attributed to the high level of energy present in fruits and vegetables immediately after harvesting. Scientists identify two components to the energy release mechanism seen in produce, namely, aerobic and anaerobic. They respectively are associated with the presence or the absence of oxygen consumption. Only the anaerobic component dominates in produce nearing decay. Aerobic component releases 36 ATP units of energy while anaerobic does only 2 ATP units. The energetic feeling perhaps arises from the higher units of ATP potential in fresher produce.
Modern scientists are yet to statistically correlate the sense of wellness to the level of freshness of produce. Authors of the ancient Ayurvedic treatise recommend Satvik food to increase the alertness in one's mind. They equate the quality of alertness in one's mind to the level of Satva in one's food. Fresh produce is high in Satva. The Art of Living course includes knowledge about how food impacts one's moods and how these can be handled through respiration techniques!