Reheating or cooking foods can greatly diminish their nutritional content since some of the nutrients in them are destroyed by heat. One tip for retaining nutrients from food is to decrease the duration of cooking.
Heat isn’t the only issue here. When you’re cooking food by means of water or through other fluids, some of the nutrients would seep out and flow into the liquid. A good approach is to add in any cooking liquid when the dish is already cooked. Even if you’re not a trained chef of any type, you’ll still be able to cook healthy and delicious meals.
Details to Know About
Some of the nutrients are significantly affected from cooking compared to others. For instance, calcium is considered tough, while Vitamin C, potassium, and folate are deemed fragile. Varying methods of cooking also impact other nutrients in a different manner.
One basic rule to keep in mind: minerals can withstand heat. As a matter of fact, dry heat, in the form of roasting or baking, has little effect on minerals. But vitamins, on the other hand, appear to do a little better through moist cooking, like boiling, since the duration of cooking is shorter.
When you’re cooking food in any liquid, both minerals and vitamins leach out and up getting lost in the drain. If you can find ways to include cooking liquid in a meal, you’ll be able to preserve a lot of nutrients.
You can utilize cooking liquids rich in vitamins for making couscous or rice. This can lead to preserving a plethora of vitamins. Another approach is to have the vegetables steamed in a rack over boiling water. As a result, vegetables won’t come in contact with water so the vitamins will remain intact. Some may leak into the water, but you can utilize the leftover boiling water for cooking other dishes.
Nutrient Content Preservation
If you tend to acquire the most of nutrition from your foods, how you set them can be a difference makers. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- It’s a bad idea: if you cook foods for long period of time and dumping the cooking liquid
- It’s a better idea: if you boil or stew foods and add cooking fluid into the dish or for use with another dish
- It’s a good idea: if you steam or microwave foods as these minimize liquid contact
- It’s best: if you don’t cook any of them at all or at least consume raw fruits or vegetables daily
Raw foods aren’t exactly the most nutritious since their exposure to air and light can easily degrade their nutrients. Raw vegetables and fruits that have been stored in the fridge for an extended period of time or have gone through long transport typically have little or no nutrients in them.
To make acquire those essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables (regardless of cooking methods), you want to ensure you get the freshest produce possible. Basically, that means making a purchase locally and in season. When there’s nothing available for the season, never lose sight of frozen fruits and vegetables. Freezing is proper for nutrient preservation. Fruits and vegetables that are kept frozen are typically chosen at the height of their nutritional peak and are processed in a matter of days, which help preserve nutrients.
Thanks to Susan from Culinarydreaming.com for helping us put this together.