Does Cooking Vegetables Destroy Their Nutrients? Here Are Some Tips To Keep The Nutrition Intact In Foods

In order to ensure minimum nutrient loss you should choose grilling as a cooking method. The high heat from grills helps to retain the moisture within food. Also, there will be no need of additional butter or oil to cook.

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Does Cooking Vegetables Destroy Their Nutrients? Here Are Some Tips To Keep The Nutrition Intact In Foods

Keep the nutrients intact in food by these simple measures


Highlights

  1. Eating raw foods are considered to be the healthiest for the body
  2. A great way of preparing meat, eggs and fish is poaching
  3. You can blend instead of juicing the fruits and vegetables

The way you cook food plays an important role in how much nutrients your body is actually getting. Eating raw foods are considered to be the healthiest for the body as cooking through conventional methods such as deep frying, pan cooking or baking can lead to a significant nutrient loss. However, there are some other methods as well through which you can enjoy your favourite foods while avoiding the nutrient loss at the same time. Selecting the right and a healthy cooking method can help maximize the nutritional value of your meal.

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The way you cook food plays an important role in how much nutrients your body is actually getting.
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Raw food vegetarians have good health

Here are some tips to keep the nutrition intact in foods: 

1. Poaching: A great way of preparing meat, eggs and fish is poaching. You can simmer food in some water in a way that it retains its moisture and vital nutrients. Poaching is considered an extremely healthy cooking method as water does not add any fat to the food.

2. Grill: In order to ensure minimum nutrient loss you should choose grilling as a cooking method. The high heat from grills helps to retain the moisture within the food. Also, there will be no need of additional butter or oil to cook.

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The high heat from grills helps to retain the moisture within the food.
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Blending: You can blend instead of juicing the fruits and vegetables. While juicing you tend to remove all the fibrous material which is extremely nutritious and are left with a simple sugary juice. For a thick and wholesome juice you should blend the whole fruits and vegetables which keep the pulp and fibre intact.

4. Do not peel: Most fruit and vegetable peels are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To keep maximum nutrients intact while cooking, it is, best to boil, grill or poach without peeling. While boiling food, retain the cooking liquid for future use (like soups and stocks) as most of the nutrients leach out into the water during the boiling process. Use pots with lids while cooking (Pressure cooker is a better option).

Also read: Fruits and vegetables lower blood pressure

5. Avoid re-heating: Try eating fresh cooked food and avoid re-heating as it destroys the chemical structure of nutrients.

6. Wash the fruits and vegetables: You should wash the vegetables and fruits properly before cutting and chopping them. This will help remove all the dirt from them (never wash them after it is cut as the nutrients will drain into the water).

7. Eat fresh: You should try eating fresh fruits and vegetables as far as possible. 

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You should try eating fresh fruits and vegetables as far as possible. 
Photo Credit: iStock

According to Monisha, a Delhi-based Nutritionist some tips for keeping vegetables fresh:

  • In order to keep your vegetables fresh and moist for longer, keep vegetables inside a plastic bag which will prevent their drying by evaporation.
  • Choose to steam your vegetables rather than boiling them because during the process of boiling certain water soluble nutrients leach out from the vegetables to the water.
  • Keep the skin of fruits and vegetables as the skin is rich in fiber, vitamins and oxidants. Consuming the peel along with the pulp has added nutrition benefits.
  • Use acid foods such as lime juice, tomatoes, vinegar or curds in salads. It helps to retain vitamin C in the salad items. 
  • Cut vegetables into large pieces rather than smaller ones. You can have them in large chunks because less surface area means less oxygen exposure and more vitamin retention.

(Monisha Ashokan is a clinical nutritionist at Nourish Me, Delhi)

Also read: A Bowl Of Fresh Fruits A Day Keeps Diabetes Away

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.



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