Did you know that when you cook food, most of the nutrients are lost? Raw foods are said to be the healthiest for the body while cooking through traditional methods is known to cause a significant nutrient loss. Yes, if you have been happily deep-frying, baking and pan-cooking your food, you are actually gaining nothing much. Instead, to enjoy your favourite foods and to ensure that you are also taking in the vitamins and minerals from them, you need to adopt certain smarter cooking methods.
Here are some tips on how one can keep the nutrition of food intact:
Poaching is a great way of preparing fish, meat, eggs and fruit. Simmer food in a small amount of water in such a way that it retains its moisture and essential nutrients. As water does not add any fat to food, poaching is considered an extremely healthy cooking method.
2. Blend instead of juicing
While juicing fruits and vegetables, you essentially remove all the fibrous material from the final product and are left with a rather sugary juice. Blending whole fruits and veggies keeps the pulp and fibre intact so you consume a thicker, more wholesome juice or smoothie.
3. Don’t peel
Most fruit and vegetable peels are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To keep maximum nutrients intact while cooking, it is best to boil, grill or poach without peeling. However, you must ensure that fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime.
4. Opt for grilling
Grill your food to ensure the least amount of nutrient loss while making the fat drip off. The high heat from the grill tend to seal in the moisture in food, so there is no excess butter or oil required to cook. Further, vegetables retain more vitamins and minerals through grilling.
5. Boiling your food the right way
While boiling food, retain the cooking liquid for future use (like soups and stocks) as most of the nutrients leach out into the water during the boiling process. Use pots with lids while cooking (pressure cooker is a better option).
Other than the above tips, you also need to make it a habit to eat freshly cooked food and avoid reheating it as it destroys the chemical structure of nutrients. Moreover, harmful enzymes are activated by high temperature, so it is best to cook food in a preheated pan and oven or in water that is already boiling.