How to cook vegetables to retain their nutrients

How to cook vegetables to retain their nutrients
How to cook vegetables to retain their nutrients

Eating healthy is as important as eating tasty. Our food provides us with essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that our body needs to function well and stay healthy.

Most of the food we consume undergoes some form of processing. There has been a long-standing debate about the healthiness of boiled vegetables, with some claiming that cooking destroys all their valuable properties.

However, this is not entirely true. While cooking does alter the composition of vegetables, it is not necessarily a negative change. Let’s examine the effects of cooking on vitamin content in vegetables.

Vitamin C is most affected by cooking and is lost to some degree. Peas and carrots experience the greatest loss, while other vegetables lose about half of their Vitamin C. To compensate for this loss, it is recommended to consume fresh fruit.

On the other hand, vitamins E, A, and D do not disappear after cooking, but rather change form and are better absorbed by the body. Cooking also activates carotenoids, which are antioxidants.

Frying, on the other hand, destroys most of the beneficial substances and compounds in vegetables. To counterbalance this, it’s important to include more fresh and boiled vegetables and fruits in your diet.

Now, let’s look at how to cook vegetables while preserving their goodness as much as possible.

Coooking vegetables

Eco-friendly cooking

The best cookware for cooking is enameled. During the cooking process, the pan should be covered with a lid. Enamel cookware can be a more environmentally friendly option compared to other non-stick materials like Teflon or silicone.

Teflon’s coating is known to peel off with wear and tear, causing potential ingestion or pollution to the environment. Additionally, Teflon’s non-stick feature can deteriorate over time, leading to the need for replacement pans.

Silicone cookware, on the other hand, can easily become damaged or cracked, contributing to the waste in landfills.

Enamel, however, is highly durable and can last for decades if properly cared for, making it a sustainable choice. When using enamel cookware, you don’t have to worry about any harmful reactions with the food you’re cooking, making it a secure choice for your home kitchen.

Enamel red saucepan

What is healthiest way to cook vegetables to retain their nutrients?

Let’s consider everything in order. Of course, any fruits or vegetables must be washed. Cut and clean them immediately before cooking.

If you took vegetables or fruits out of the freezer, purchased frozen vegetable mix in the supermarket, you do not need to defrost them. In this form, and throw them into boiling water. Thus minimizing temperature fluctuations.

If you are going to boil vegetables, you should not pour them in a saucepan with cold water, it is more correct to throw them into boiling water to preserve the benefits.

If the vegetables are cooked with a margin, then it is not necessary to reheat them all every time. Reheat only the amount you intend to eat.

Greens, broccoli cabbage is better not to cook just a little bit. They perfectly “reach” to readiness, while maintaining the vitamins we need.

Fresh tomatoes are certainly healthy, but when cooked, they release a lot of nutrients (such as lycopides) that our body cannot absorb from fresh tomatoes.

Good to know:

  1. Any temperature effect reduces the amount of nitrates. To get rid of them completely, it is recommended to put them in the refrigerator or cold water for a short time before cooking.
  2. Vegetables are dipped in boiling water or broth in order to preserve their beneficial substances to the maximum.
  3. Peeled potatoes must be kept in water before cooking.
cooked vegetables

In conclusion

Everything is obvious! Both fresh and boiled vegetables are useful, in each form in its own way. We will not gnaw raw potatoes like apples or herring under a fur coat of raw beets. The menu should include both boiled or otherwise cooked vegetables, and raw in the form of salads or snacks. The diet should be varied in order to get the most out of everything.