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Health Newsletters

Nutrition and Fitness » Cooking Tips to Retain Food Nutrition

It’s a well known fact that cooking or high heat destroy useful nutrients in the food. Vegetables and fruits are the best source of water soluble vitamins and anti-oxidants some of which are easily lost if exposed to air or washed in water. The cooking method also affects the fat and sodium content of the food.

Therefore, application of best cooking method is necessary not only to add taste and deliciousness to the food but also to preserve its nutrition and health quality. Below are few of the best cooking methods to retain a food’s nutritional value:

* Always use seasonal vegetables and fruits which are as fresh as possible.

* Always wash vegetables and fruits well before cutting because they might contain contamination.

* Avoid washing cut vegetables and fruits. Always cut those before washing as washing after cutting would drain off most of the nutrients from them.

* Cut vegetables as big as possible and just before cooking. If there is time constraint, store the cut vegetables in an air-tight container and store them in the fridge.

* Try and retain the peel of the vegetables or fruits wherever possible. Peel contains the maximum concentration of the nutrition.

* Steam cooking is the simplest cooking technique to retain the nutrition.

* To retain Vitamin A in food, avoid cooking at high temperatures.

* To retain Vitamin B, avoid washing, soaking or boiling of the food.

* Vitamin C, necessary for the immune system, is water soluble and heat sensitive. To retain it use as little water as possible, add food rapidly to boiling water, cover the pan, avoid using sodium bicarbonate and copper pans and serve and eat properly.

* To preserve Vitamin E, avoid frying or baking.

* Avoiding overheating prevents the amino acid from destroying, thus retaining protein.

* Heating food to high temperatures destroys many essential fatty acids and even, may be cancer inducing.

Avoid reusing fat; deep frying and frying for long periods to retain the nutrition in the food.

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