3 tips on how to best keep nutrients in your food
The way you cook your food plays a large part in just how much of its nutrients your body is getting.
Specialist Scientific Affairs of Herbalife Nutrition in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Jora Steennis says it’s not just the type of food we choose that influences our health, food preparation can also have a big impact on its nutritional quality.
For instance, did you know that more than fifty percent of the vitamins in food can be lost during cooking while some nutrients are ‘brought out’ during the cooking process?
Here’s how you can keep as many nutrients as possible in your food, according to Herbalife Nutrition.
Buying and storing
Take care of vegetables as they're particularly fragile and contain micronutrients that are susceptible to oxygen and heat. When buying fresh vegetables don’t bruise them or store them for longer than you need to as the goodness in them will be continually depleting.
When it comes to selecting your veggies, don’t worry if you miss the fresh stuff – the micronutrients in canned or frozen vegetables are preserved and they contain about the same amount as fresh vegetables.
Limit the amount of water you use while cooking and the duration of heating food; vitamins interact with oxygen and dissolve in water during cutting, washing, and cooking.
On the other hand, micronutrients can be brought out in cooking through soaking, washing and cooking them. For example, when rice is cooked iron and calcium become more available.
Furthermore, the number of phytonutrients with antioxidant capacity increases in vegetables when they’re cooked. Even fermentation and the use of certain oils, acids and spices can boost the number of nutrients available after cooking. Therefore, combining raw and prepared food can provide you with optimal nutritional quality.
If you have any left-overs, make sure that they aren’t unnecessarily exposed to air, heat or fluid. Do you have any left-overs in cans? Take the food out and save it in an airtight box.
Cool your lasagna and other dishes as soon as possible; it not only helps to retain most of the nutrients but also limits the growth of microorganisms.