How to cook vegetables and get the most out of them

02-23-2017

Everyone knows that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, as they are full of important vitamins and minerals. But the amount of vitamins your body actually absorbs all depends on how your veggies are prepared.  Today’s Video of the Day comes thanks to the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and takes an in-depth look at the healthiest ways to cook vegetables.

The water-soluble vitamins found in everyday vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that improve digestion, help tissue repair, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Meanwhile, fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables protect your eyes and help your immune system and liver function. So what’s the best way to cook vegetables and get the most nutritional value out of every bite you eat?

You may have heard the general rule that fresh produce is always best, but that isn’t always the case. If the vegetables are out of season, the flash-frozen version could actually contain more nutrients. A recent study revealed that flash-frozen green beans only lose 25% of its vitamin C after an entire year, while refrigerated green beans lose 75% of its vitamin C in one week!

Cooking is a great way to get nutrients out of veggies because the heat breaks down the plant cell walls. But, cooking water can cause nutrient loss by leaching off the water-soluble vitamins. Studies have shown that boiling broccoli caused a 35% of its vitamin C, steaming caused a 20% loss, and microwaving caused a 10% loss.

The good news is that as long as you drink the cooking liquid, you can get the nutrients back. And the trick to minimizing vitamin loss is to use less water and cut vegetables into larger chunks.

Frying is unsurprisingly the unhealthiest method, as it takes away most fat-soluble vitamins and adds saturated fats.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: American Chemical Society

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