Nature has gifted vegetables and fruits generous amounts of nutrients including various vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and other elements essential for human life. However, a portion of these get destroyed due to their susceptibility to light, air, water, acid, and what not. The depletion aggravates when we cut, store, and cook them in the wrong way. So, what can you do to ensure that the nutrients are still in place? Here are a couple of effective tips you can try!
Tips For Preserving Nutrients In Veggies and Fruits
- Rinse the veggies and fruits before cutting them
Washing and cleansing the veggies after cutting them actually drains away essential nutrients. Always wash them thoroughly under running water with the peels on so as to ensure that they are still blissfully enriched.
- Soaking is a strict no-no
Many of us soak the leafy greens such as spinach and fenugreek leaves before chopping them for cooking. While this process does help in getting rid of the soil and dust, do you know that you are also unknowingly paving way for the elimination of water soluble vitamins? Yes! So, just place them in a colander and rinse off twice or thrice, draining the water away immediately for preserving these essential vitamins.
- Cook the vegetables as whole or in large chunks
Cooking or baking the veggies laden with water-soluble minerals and vitamins as whole or in large chunks will ensure that the nutrient levels will be much higher than what you find in mashed or finely chopped veggies.
- Never overcook the veggies
We all tend to cook a vegetable till it becomes really soft that the senior citizens of the house do not face any issue while eating. However, in the process of taking care of them, we neglect the fact that overcooking depletes the nutrients in it, leaving us with empty calories.
- Steaming, roasting or baking is better
You can steam your veggies or cook then with minimum amount of liquid. You can even bake or roast them. All these cooking methods do a better job in bestowing us with healthier and more nutrient dense goodies than pressure cooking or slow cooking. Sautéing is also beneficial when compared to cooking the veggies. If you are using garlic or ginger, smash them and release the enzymes so that your blood is shielded from clotting.
- Opt for organic versions
Organic versions, by default, come with a higher dose of nutrients than compared to your normal market supplies. Try to grow in your garden with lesser chemicals or pick from a local farmer.
- Storing the right way is important
Store the veggies and fruits in the right way can go a long way in ensuring that you are not eating empty foods. You can refrigerate the veggies and fruits that you will be consuming within couple of days. For other ones, ensure that you pack them properly and freeze them. This prevents nutrient erosion until thawed.
- Dehydrate before storing
Dehydrating the veggies and fruits is also a great way for preserving the nutrients. Use the lowest setting while dehydrating for reaping the goodness. You can try fruits such as pineapples, apples, and pears and vegetables such as corns, beets, potatoes, and carrots for dehydration.
- Eat your fruits full and with peel
This is one of the most effective ways of reaping the nutrients from the fruits. Instead of juicing them or making them into a smoothie or milkshake, eat them after rinsing thoroughly with the peel on. Allow the juices to trickle down your elbow as you bite into the juicy apples and pineapples… The experience is really rejuvenating.
Keep these tips in mind next time you cook your veggies or juice the fruits. Remember, you need nutrients and not empty foods.