We’ve been told time and time again to eat more vegetables.
But did anyone tell us the best way to cook them?
Scientists (I guess ones who listened to their moms!) took to the kitchen and discovered some interesting things about how to get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck when cooking certain veggies.
The BEST way to eat your vegetables
I bet you think the best way to eat your vegetables is raw.
Well, it turns out raw isn’t always best.
Some vegetables are more nutritious when cooked, like tomatoes. You actually get more of the antioxidant lycopene when tomatoes are made into things such as sauce (and even ketchup!).
Spinach and carrots also become nutritional powerhouses when cooked – just don’t overdo it.
3 cooking hacks to boost your veggie benefits
More scientific veggie findings include…
Veggie Hack #1: Steam that broccoli
Researchers compared different cooking methods for broccoli including boiling, steaming and microwaving, and here’s what they found.
Microwaving was the worst for broccoli – with 97 percent of the antioxidants lost!
Boiling wasn’t too much better, losing 66 percent, but steaming had little effect on broccoli nutrition so go ahead and give those green stalks a light steam.
Veggie Hack #2: Cook carrots before slicing
Scientists discovered that not only are carrots much more nutritious when sliced after cooking, but they taste better to boot!
It seems that when you slice them first, there is more “surface area” that lets important nutrients—and flavor—dissipate.
Veggie Hack #3: Bake to INCREASE antioxidants
That green bean casserole that comes out during the holidays has more going for it than you thought. Turns out that some veggies become more nutritious when baked.
On the list of veggies you should bake are…
- green beans,
More nutrition boosting tricks
And when it comes to storing your vegetables, take the advice of food science professor Barry Swanson, and give them plenty of breathing room.
Swanson says that airtight, plastic bags are the worst choice. Veggies need air circulation or they’ll go bad faster.
So if you use plastic bags for storage, poke some holes in them. Better yet, go for a reusable mesh bag.
And one more thing – don’t wash or peel produce until right before you use it – you’ll find your fruits and veggies will keep much longer that way.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
Visit www.hsionline.com to sign up for the free HSI e-Alert.
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