Eating a variety of vegetables, and quality animal products is only part of a healthy diet. But how you cook your food can actually determine how healthy it is.
So is it time to change the way you cook your vegetables?
Boiling vegetables are beneficial for people who are prone to forming calcium kidney stones, that can be caused by excess oxalic acid or an organic plant compound in the body. Boiling oxalate-rich vegetables such as Swiss chard, spinach and beets releases most of these oxalates into the cooking water.
Consuming some raw vegetables is a good way to make sure that you are ingesting beneficial water-soluble vitamins such as B and C and also enzymes, that cooking often destroys.
While not all vegetable is most nutritious eaten raw, there are exceptions in general, consuming them raw keeps the vitamins, enzymes and phytochemicals intact.
Roasting vegetables is a safer alternative instead of grilling, which can char foods, thus resulting in carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines or HCAs and advanced glycation end products or AGEs, the toxins made when foods containing proteins and are burned. This goes for baked goods as well.
Sautéing is an easy and quick way to cook vegetables with little oil. Sautéed vegetables retain their minerals and vitamins, as well as color and taste. This method is best suited for tender vegetables, like baby artichokes, asparagus, sweet peppers, snow peas, mushrooms and onions.
Stir-frying is very similar to sautéing, but with two important differences. Stir-frying is mostly done using very high heat and the food is stirred constantly to prevent it from burning.
Stir-frying is most often done using a wok, the classic utensil for Chinese cooking. But a sauté pan can also be use, as long as the bottom is thick enough to evenly distribute high heat
Sautéing and stir-frying are best done using a cooking oil that stands up to high heat, such as canola oil. Once the vegetables are done, you can also toss them using a flavored oil, such as sesame or olive oil.
If you have a condition such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome , steaming can help make vegetables easier to digest. Researches have shown that it also helps in increasing the antioxidant activity in green beans, broccoli, bell peppers and spinach. It also makes the beta-carotene in carrots easier to absorb.