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Let the power in veggies remain

Deepshikha Agarwal,
Filed on November 8, 2019 | Last updated on November 8, 2019 at 11.05 am

Preparing food in a proper manner helps retain the nutrients

We know that veggies are good for us, but the nutrients in them can be retained if they are prepared  in the right manner. Cooking breaks down the outer layer of the vegetable and its cellular structure making the nutrients more easily absorbable. There are different ways of cooking vegetables - steaming, sautéeing, roasting and frying. Whatever method is selected, it is important to cook them in such a way that there is no loss of nutrients.
Tips for cooking vegetables:
. Do not overcook the greens. Cook on a slow flame; a high flame not only burns the nutritional elements but also ruins the taste of the vegetables.
. Cook with minimum water, because water soluble vitamins could leach out into the water. If there is excess water, drain it and use it for soups and broths. Steaming is one of the best and safest methods as it preserves the vitamins and minerals and  helps retain the intrinsic flavour and juiciness. And, the oil-free cooking method makes the food more healthy.
. Cooking vegetables in an acidic medium such as tamarind prevents loss of vitamins. Adding lemon drops enhances the absorption of iron.
. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and fenugreek must be cooked with the vessel covered. Avoid the use of 'soda' in vegetables as it leads to the loss of vitamin C and vitamin-B complex. Spinach contains calcium and antioxidants, but it's also rich in oxilic acid, which can interfere with calcium absorption. Heating (or lightly steaming) helps  nullify the acid, helping better calcium absorption.
. Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption. Some of the sources of Vitamin D are fortified soya milk, high fat fishes like salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, oysters and sunlight. Sunlight helps the skin produce Vitamin D.
. Too much exposure to air causes damage to nutrients and affects the flavour, so cut the vegetables just before cooking. Salad should be prepared just before serving.
. Do not peel vegetables if possible.  A large part of vitamins and minerals lie just under the skin. Also ensure that the vegetables are cut into large pieces or cooked whole.
. The temperature of the oil used for cooking is of utmost importance. If the oil is very hot and smokes it can make the food toxic.
. Avoid reheating leftover foods as this will destroy the nutrients in it.  Remember, it is important to include as many fruits and
. Avoid reheating leftover foods as this will destroy the nutrients in it.  Remember, it is important to include as many fruits and  vegetables in


READER'S QUERY
Is aloe vera good for arthritis?
Aloe Vera is a stimulant to the immune system, anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic. Rheumatic arthritis is a painful condition and repairing the damaged tissue by regenerating cells is a function aloe vera has shown to be successful at. It also gives relief from pain. Aloe vera may be consumed as a juice or applied in its gel form to the painful joint. The degree of success varies from person to person.
Have a nutrition query? Write to deepshikhadietician@gmail.com



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