Nutritious food is key to your health and wellbeing. Many of us believe that all we need is fresh fruits and vegetables to meet our daily dose of nutrients, but it is far from reality.
Believe it or not, the way you cook your food has a great impact on the amount of nutrients your dishes would retain. The process of cooking stimulates digestion and increases the absorption of nutrients.
Longer exposure to heat, light and water may drain out vitamins, minerals and plant compounds from the food. Few ideal ways of cooking are using less water, pressure cooking, steaming, stir-frying and microwaving.
Wash vegetables and fruits before cutting. Chopping veggies first and then washing, rinse away all necessary nutrients. If you are cooking with root vegetables like potato, turnip, carrot or colocasia boil the skin first and then peel. Boiling root veggies with the skin helps in retaining the nutrients and colour.
Go For Big Chunks
Do not cut vegetables into very small pieces as most of the essential nutrients will get destroyed in the process. The perfect way is to cut vegetables into larger chunks. The trick is to cook soon after cutting veggies, as exposure to light and air may decrease the amount of nutrition.
Cook vegetables in a very little amount of water. Cooking in excess water depletes the nutrients and it is ideal to cook vegetables covered with a lid on low flame. Do not discard excess water drained after boiling rice or vegetables. The water is a rich source of all vitamins and minerals and it can be used in making gravies, soup or kneading dough.
Do Not Reheat
Avoid reheating of the cooked food as it destroys the natural properties of vitamins and minerals. Try eating within 4 hours of cooking your food as this helps in reducing further loss of nutrients.
No To Baking Soda
Never use baking soda while cooking vegetables. Though it helps in retaining the colour of vegetables as well as speeds up the cooking process, adding baking soda releases carbon dioxide that can cause nutritional deficiency.