- Cooking vegetables can lead to loss of nutrients
- This is because of the heat that is involved in cooking vegetables
- Quantity & quality can both be catered to by drinking vegetable juice
Should you be eating your vegetables or drinking them in the form of juice. Nutritionist Pooja Makhija says that this is one question she's been asked multiple times. It is especially by those who find it difficult to eat raw vegetables in the form of salads, or simply don't have an appetite for them. "Whether you eat or drink them, the vegetables remain the same," she says in her IGTV video. "What changes is the way your body absorbs the nutrition from these vegetables," she adds.
Eating vegetables or drinking them: What is more beneficial?
Vegetables are known to be a rich source of fibre. Also, they are loaded with water-soluble vitamins, informs Makhija in her video. These vitamins can be easily lost because of oxidation, or when they are exposed to oxygen in the air, she adds.
Eating vegetables: How your body processes them
"When you're chopping vegetables for salads, you are actually losing some nutrients. This happens when you store the vegetables, chop them, serve then and finally eat them. Also, if you're cooking the veggies and eating them in form of sabzis, then you may be losing the nutrients even more, because of the heat involved in cooking," says Makhija.
What's more, the process of chewing and eating leads to a slower release of vitamins and minerals from vegetables.
Drinking vegetable juices
When we juice raw vegetables and drink them with their fibre intact, we get an instant rush of immediate goodness, the nutritionist says. This means far more absorption of vitamins and minerals, as the juicer has done half the job of your digestive tract, for you. Drinking vegetable juice also reduces the transit time of veggies in the gastric lining. It reduces nutrient loss which occurs inside the body because of an acidic environment in the tummy.
"How will reach the finish line quicker? By walking or sprinting towards it? Sprinting right... your glass of vegetable juice is like sprinting towards the finish line. The antioxidants kickstart even before they reach your intestines, and absorb more quickly," Makhija explains.
Drinking vegetable juice makes vitamins and minerals reach the absorption point faster than eating, and therefore increases its bioavailability. It is also an effective way to increase consumption of vegetables. "Where one would manage to eat only a handful of spinach in the form of sabzi... in a glass of vegetable juice, one can easily consume a bunch of it, in addition to tomatoes, carrots and maybe a little bit of bottle gourd or any other vegetable of your choice."
Quantity and quality can both be catered to, by drinking a rainbow of vegetables. Additionally, preparing vegetable juice is far less time-consuming than chopping veggies for salad or for sabzis. This is not to infer that you should avoid sabzis or salads, and drink glassfuls of veggie juice. Enjoy your sabzis like you have always been doing, but make it a point to drink a glass of raw vegetable juice every day, she recommends.
In less than two weeks, you will begin to see a difference in your hair, skin, immunity and vitality, she further assures.
(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)
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