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How to cook vegetables and keep their nutritional value

All food are packed with nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Many foods can be eaten raw, while others need to be cooked.

There are simple ways to convert a food in a fun and tasty dish. Unfortunately for some nutrients the heat is a proved enemy, since they are destroyed by the cooking process, before they arrive at our table. That is why many recommend foods can be eaten in raw form such as raw vegetables in salads. Investigations conducted in Italy in 2007 indicate some ways of cooking vegetables that maintain or even boost their nutritional value.

The research studied three (3) widely known ways of cooking in Italian cuisine: boiling, steaming and frying, and examined the effects on the nutritional value of vegetables such as carrot, zucchini and broccoli.

The boiling and steaming showed that vegetables keep their antioxidants. Indeed steaming broccoli causes a large increase in the substance of glucosinolates, which have anticancer activity. Unlike frying may cause significant loss of the vegetables antioxidants. These findings suggest that depending on the cooking method chosen for each vegetable, they can preserve or not their nutritional value.

Vegetables are essential part of a healthy and balanced diet and provide many nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. These nutrients, however, risk being lost if certain practices used in cooking or preparation. Let’s check below some advices.

Preparation

When cooking vegetables, the preparation is as important as the cooking process. If vegetables are not properly prepared, nutritional value can be reduced. It is important for washing and rinsing of vegetables to use cold water to remove the bad and unnecessary dirt.

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The leafy parts of vegetables have more nutrients. Much of nutrients also lurks beneath the skin of vegetables. Avoid peeling as you can, because beneath the skin are located mainly the fiber and minerals.

Boiling

In general is good to avoid boiling vegetables, especially if they are sliced. If the cut vegetables cooked in water, a significant proportion of nutrients, like vitamins and minerals are released into the water, making water in some cases more beneficial than the same vegetable.

Also, because the boiling is a prolonged cooking process for vegetables, many of the nutrients get destroyed. Finally, the quality and flavor of vegetables is often reduced by boiling.

Steaming

With this technique of cooking we might loose the micro plant nutrients of vegetables. Useful for anyone to make steamed vegetables are the steamers, although they may work just as well a strainer or a strainer.

The vegetables should be placed evenly and place strainer over a pan of boiling water. The high temperature steam to can lock the nutrients of vegetables. Vegetables are ready when they are tender and crust up on the outside.

Frying

Make sure the vegetables are cut into thin slices to warm faster. Use a tablespoon of oil. When hot enough, add the vegetables, stirring. Cook for a few minutes at high temperature to maintain their nutritional value.

Investigations are continuing in order to find and other methods for cooking vegetables to maintain the nutritional content.

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