So you’re getting your grocery list together and you have made the commitment to eat more vegetables so you can’t wait to go buy them. You get to the grocery store and you pick out some peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and spinach in the hopes of turning your diet around and becoming more healthy.
Now the deciding factor is how you will be consuming these vegetables. Are you going to eat them raw, boil them, fry them, bake them, etc.?
Here are some ways that will destroy the nutritional value of your veggies:
Method 1: PeelingWe tend to peel our vegetables because their outsides seem unappealing and it’s only the insides that we crave.
Potatoes, eggplant, cucumber and carrots all have skins that are perfectly edible and contain many vitamins and minerals that you’d be throwing away.
In the case of cucumbers, removing their peels means that we are losing out on a great amount of fiber which is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and ensuring proper stool.
Their peels also contain Vitamin K which is utilized in bone maintenance, cell growth and preventing blood clots. They also have beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to help with vision.
If you are peeling the skin, you are losing out on most of these things. Where it is advised to peel is when you are not buying organic matter, as the outsides are likely to contain pesticides. That is why its best to buy organic produce and eat the peels.
Method 2: Overcooking
This is the surest and quickest way to get rid of the nutrients in your foods, especially vegetables. Not to mention, overcooking your vegetables leaves them mushy and tasteless.
Green vegetables tend to be the veggies that lose the most nutrients, especially broccoli.
There are, however, vegetables that thrive when cooked: mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage.
Method 3: Microwaving
Many people have gone on to say that microwaving your food is the worst of the worst. This was actually proven to be untrue.
Over-nuking is the issue where continuous use of the microwave will destroy the nutrients.
Next, if you are going to reheat, do not use any plastic wrap, especially from the dollar store as the plastic is of low quality and includes BPA which is a toxin that can get into your food.
- reproductive disorders
- male impotence
- heart disease
- changes in hormones
- breast cancer
- decreased brain function
- …and more!
Method 4: High Heat
If you’re going to use an oven or stove, don’t cook or fry your vegetables at a high temperature.
If you want to retain as much of the nutrients and antioxidants, you should cook on olive oil on medium heat at most.
It is also recommend to first heat the pan and then put on the olive oil but being careful not to burn it.
Method 5: Grilling
This doesn't only apply to vegetables. Putting meat on the grill isn't the greatest options either.
The problem with the grill is that the high temperatures destroy the nutritional contents of the food because they are unable to survive such extreme temperatures.
Another issue is the grill marks on vegetables are indicative of carcinogens, which according to Wikipedia, “are agents directly involved in causing cancer“.
Conclusion: So What Now?
It seems like that are a lot of limitations as to what you can do with vegetables in order to get the most out of them, but not all is lost.
You are still advised to boil potatoes, it is just important to thoroughly clean the skin and keep it on. You can even mash the potatoes with the skin on.
It is best, however, to either consume your fruits and vegetables in raw form, but you can also use a blender.
The advantages of using a blender is that you get to keep all of the nutrients, whilst having the food available in tasty liquid form which is much easier to consume in a quick manner.
For recommendations on blenders, check the side bar or visit our kitchen appliances category page.