Can cooking vegetables reduces their nutrients? Here’s the truth
It has been a long debate about whether cooking certain vegetables reduces their nutrients or not!
From stir-frying to boiling, blanching, roasting, grilling and steaming, there are several cooking methods that people use for cooking vegetables
But, have you ever realized how these methods reduce their nutrients? Read more to find out about it.
Nutrients in vegetables
It is said that fresh vegetables are naturally low in fat and rich in minerals and vitamins and it is one of the only reasons why experts advise consuming more veggies. Along with these, including veggies in the daily diet can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer etc!
What happens to the vitamins & minerals?
Now coming to the cooking part, there have been reports that cooking vegetables can degrade the nutrients present in them. It is said that the way you prepare vegetables can alter their nutritional qualities. For example, water-soluble vitamins, such as B & C are quite sensitive to cooking methods. These vitamins have a tendency to leach out of veggies when boiled and can be degraded by heat. However, when it comes to fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, they work better during the cooking process. When it comes to minerals, heat can improve the ability of some to be digested, absorbed and metabolized.
The nutrients loss in veggies
Most of the vegetable’s juices are lost while baking or roasting the vegetables. It destroys a large number of vitamins in the food. Not just that, but around 40 per cent of B vitamins are lost during the grilling process of the veggies. Also, when it comes to vitamin C, which is abundant in most of the veggies, gets reduced when vegetables are boiled.
Raw vs cooked veggies, which is better?
Most of the raw veggies give more nutrients, as cooking vegetables kills the natural enzymes as vitamins and minerals. Moreover, oil and spices can impact the nutritional value of the food. While vegetables are more delicious, raw vegetables offer more fibre and nutrients and thus one should eat more of raw vegetables than cooked ones.
How to retain the nutrient loss?
Overcooking is one of the important pointers that reduces most of the nutrients in the vegetables. In most homes, when we chop the vegetables the process that’s followed is first chopping and then washing the veggies. However, this is when the nutrient loss happens. Ideally, the vegetables should be washed first and then chopped in order to prevent the roughage or fibre present in it and then cooked. The other thing is that several times we soak the veggies in water, which ideally should not happen. Vegetables are already rich in water content and thus we should not soak them in water, as most of the minerals are lost in soaking them. And this is something that should be avoided while cooking vegetables.