Show notes for the program RIGHT NOW (12/04/10, noon EST). How to keep your vitamins in your veggies — where they belong!!
Healthy Cooking Techniques
Boiling your veggies can lead to leaching of the water soluble vitamins (like the anti-carcinogenic properties of broccoli …) so you need to steam them.
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, reducing the amount of vitamins left in the vegetable. Vitamin C readily dissolves in water, as do the B vitamins. Cooking methods that use water may cause these vitamins to seep out of the vegetables, even without adding heat.
WHAT? Saving your cooking water for use in gravies or juices can help reintroduce these water-soluble vitamins back into your foods and beverages.
Minimizing Vitamin Depletion
According to North Dakota State University, microwaving foods provides a method of cooking that helps to retain the vitamins in vegetables. Microwaving foods takes less time than conventional methods and reduces the need for water. Steaming vegetables until slightly tender may also help preserve both vitamins and color. Another quick method of cooking, stir-frying adds a crisp texture, without requiring long cooking times.
However, one study found that microwaving drastically reduces the amount of antioxidants in broccoli. Flavonoids in broccoli were decreased by 97% after microwaving, compared to 66% after boiling and only 11% when the broccoli was steamed. On the other hand, another study found more flavonoids were retained in potatoes and tomatoes by microwaving than by boiling.
The amount of nutrients lost into the water depends on how long the vegetables are boiled, as well as the surface-to-volume ratio. Cutting the vegetables into large pieces or cooking them whole will aid in retaining nutrients, while mincing them into small pieces before cooking will result in the greatest nutrient loss.
While eating vegetables raw or lightly cooked may help them retain healthy amounts of vitamins, cooking can provide other benefits. According to the arthritis foundation, cooked tomatoes supply three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Cooking releases this antioxidant from the fibrous portions of the vegetables, making it easier to absorb. Cooking can also help destroy bacteria and parasites.
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.