The healthy way to cook your veggies!
Most of us buy organic food and eat it fresh. We try to eat in moderation and maintain a healthy schedule. But what if I tell, that it’s not only the amount that we eat matters but also the way that we eat! This can make a very big difference! Some cooking methods preserve nutrients, while others can destroy them. Here are a few strategies that can help in preserving the nutrients so that we make the most out of it.
● Avoid using a lot of water
Using a lot of water while cooking the veggies and then throwing it away, , means that you are throwing away the essential nutrients, for example when you boil carrot, do you happen to see that orangish hue in the water? That means that the vitamins like C and B have leached into the water, only to be poured down the drain. To retain these vitamins, cook vegetables in as little water as possible for a minimal amount of time (unless you’re planning to consume the water, as in a soup or add it while kneading the dough). Steaming and microwaving, both of which use little water, will give you the same results as boiling or blanching but with much less nutrient loss.
● You can use a little fat
Vitamins such as, A, D, E and K are considered to be fat soluble vitamins. That means in order for our body to effectively absorb them, the fat is the key. You might think those steamed veggies of yours is the healthiest, but only if you add in some fat is when you would be doing your body a favor. Therefore, you might want to just lightly sauté them with a little oil for just simple add in the some other form of fat like mayonnaise in your salad. They’ll also make your vegetables tastier than plain steamed ones, so you’ll be inspired to eat more.
● Depends on your digestion
Most people can digest lightly cooked vegetables more than they can raw. Raw food, while it has its benefits for live enzymes and nutrients intact, not everyone can get these nutrients with weak or sluggish digestion. Some people never have the stomachs for a majority raw food diet. Therefore select the method best suited for you.
Having said these things it is also important to make a note that there are few bio active compounds present in the fruits and veggies that can help fight against cancer or inflammation in our body. Different bioactive compounds get activated with different methods of cooking. For Example, studies show that the anti-cancer chemical present on the tomatoes, lycopene, can be made more bioavailable by cooking it with some form of healthy fat rather than eating it raw. Likewise, you don’t have to overcook the garlic in order to avail the benefits of allicin, a bio active compound. Just crush and add it in your salads and this will do the trick. Have a look at the below image to help you further with this:
My verdict on the method of cooking- Use different methods of cooking, like steaming, microwaving, sautéing to cook your veggies rather than relying on one. This will ensure that you avail the maximum benefit from the food that you eat! Just make sure not to cook at a very high temperature and use a lot of water while cooking and then end up discarding the same.
Tags: Cooking vegetables, anti-cancerous compounds, phenolic compounds, tomatoes, lycopene, carrots, garlic, allicin, boiling, steaming, fat, sautéing, broccoli, cruciferous veggies, indole, myrosinase, different methods of cooking, steaming