There is no doubt that vegetables offer a whole lot of nutrition to all age groups. However, how vegetables are purchased, stored and prepared can surprisingly affect their nutritional value.
Regrettably, as soon as vegetables are picked, their nutrients’ clock begins to tick away. This is why vegetables should be eaten right away they are picked.
13 WAYS TO PREVENT NUTRIENTS LOST IN VEGETABLE.
- Eat the vegetable including the stock and skin as they contain vitamins likewise fibre.
- Vegetable should be cooked as soon as they are washed and ready for use. Don’t soak them in water as the water-soluble vitamins will be lost e.g. Vitamin B and C.
- Use a sharp knife to slice your veggies as using of a blunt knife causes cell damage which will lead to a loss of certain vitamins like vitamin C.
- A small amount of water should be used to cook veggies or better still, steam your vegetables.
- On no account should the cooking water be discarded. It should be used in cooking soup.
- Veggie should not be cooked for a long period as this will lead to the loss of heat sensitive nutrients.
- Avoid continuous re-heating of food. This practically destroys what’s left of the heat-sensitive nutrients.
- Choose steaming over boiling.
- Reduce air exposure. This is because the more exposed they are to air, the more vitamin lost especially vitamin B, niacin, thiamine, vitamin A, C, E, and K. Veggies should be sliced into large pieces in order to decrease the amount of surface area that will come into contact with the heart.
- Minimize the use of baking soda. Certain green veggies like spinach often required the use of baking soda to preserve the dark green colour. It is also used in preparing dried beans and legumes to help decrease cooking time. However, baking soda causes cooking water to become alkaline as an alkaline can lower the vitamins content of foods.
- Don’t soak vegetables in water to prevent discolouration. Almost over 40% of water-soluble nutrients are lost in the soaking water.
- Served salad in a closed dish to avoid exposures to air and loss of vitamin.
- Root vegetables should be boiled with skin and peel thereafter as this helps the nutrients to migrate to the centre of the vegetables – helping better retention of nutrients. Learn to eat the vegetable with the skin like cucumber.