It is extremely important to eat a variety of vegetables loaded with numerous nutrients to ensure good health. “High vegetable consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, Heart attack, strokes, cataracts, macular degeneration, cognitive decline and malignancies of the digestive system,” said Neha Pathania, Senior Dietitian, Paras Hospitals. The expert adds that veggies are also said to help reduce inflammation, ward off dangerous free radicals, and boost your energy levels immunity because of their protective combination of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals.
But it’s not just about eating vegetables, the way they are prepared also plays a role in ensuring that their nutritional value is not compromised. “Yes; however, while all cooking techniques alter the nutritional composition vegetablessome actually increase nutrient levels while others destroy certain components,” the nutritionist told indianexpress.com.
Neha informed that the most unstable nutrients in cooking are vitamins C and B. “Because these vitamins are water-soluble, they end up in the cooking water. Also, if you cook or microwave your veggies with an excessive amount of water, you will have less thiamine, folic acid, vitamin B6, and significantly less vitamin B12 vitamin C,” she added.
Therefore, “water is the number one enemy when it comes to nutrient loss in cooking,” she said, adding that “so steaming is one of the best ways to protect nutrients.” “Cooking destroys more nutrients than dry-cooking techniques like grilling, broiling, and frying. Save the nutrient-rich cooking water from cooking your veggies to use in sauces and soups,” Neha suggested.
dr Sharing some of the ideal methods for cooking food, Nidhi Chaudhary, another nutritionist, wrote on Instagram: “Prolonged exposure to heat, light and water can leach out vitamins, minerals and plant matter from food. A few ideal cooking methods are using less water, pressure cooking, steaming, frying and microwaving.”
dr Nidhi also suggested the following ways to get more nutrients from cooking:
* Wash the vegetables and fruits before cutting. Chop Vegetables first and then washing them deprives them of nutrients.
* Do not cut vegetables into very small pieces as most of the essential nutrients are destroyed in the process. The perfect way is to cut veggies into larger chunks. It’s also recommended to cook vegetables shortly after slicing, as exposure to light and air can reduce the amount of nutrients.
*Cook vegetables in very little water. Boiling in excess water depletes the nutrients; Ideally, vegetables should be covered with a lid and cooked over a low heat. “After cooking rice or vegetables, don’t throw away excess water. The water is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals and can be used to make sauces, Soupor kneading dough,” suggested Dr. Nidhi before.
* Avoid reheating cooked food as this destroys the natural properties of vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat within 4 hours of cooking as this will help reduce further nutrient loss.
*Never use baking soda when cooking vegetables. “Although it helps preserve the color of vegetables and speeds up the cooking process, adding baking soda releases carbon dioxide, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies,” said Dr. Nidhi.
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