There are better ways to prepare your food

Cooking is something that no one can do away with, no matter how spiritual one is or what strictest method of diet one is suing.

If you decide not to eat for a long time, it will affect your health, negatively. Thus, we know that food is what our bodies use to produce new cells; food is what our bodies use to stay strong and/or glow.

Despite these facts, majority of people handle the preparations of their food with less carefulness. How do we mean? Some people, while preparing what to eat, just do not care how clean or dirty their utensils are; some people do not bother to care whether the water they are using to cook is clean or dirty, some others do not bother to wash their hands before cooking (even when they just come out of the convenience), still, some people do not bother of the process of their cooking.

Notwithstanding, if you were faulty of these wrong things, though you are caught, the purpose is to let you know that there are better methods of cooking the food you eat.

There are plenty of ways to cook up juicy and flavourful food without adding tons of unnecessary extras. While most people know to ditch the fryer when cooking up healthy meals, many do not think about how their cooking method affects the nutritional make-up of their entrée.

Heat can break down and destroy 15 to 20 percent of some vitamins in vegetables — especially vitamin C, folate, and potassium. As you will see below, some methods are more detrimental than others (this is why raw foodists cut out cooking altogether, claiming that uncooked food maintains all of it’s nutritional value and supports optimal health).

Other studies suggest certain foods actually benefit from cooking. With carrots, spinach, and tomatoes, for example, heat facilitates the release of antioxidants by breaking down cell walls, providing an easier passage of the healthy components from food to the body.

The Methods Microwaving

Nuking may be the healthiest way to cook because of its short cooking times, which results in minimal nutrient destruction (microwaves cook food by heating from the inside out). They emit radio waves that “excite” the molecules in food, which generates heat, while cooking the food. While microwave cooking can sometimes cause food to dry out, that can easily be avoided by splashing on a bit of water before heating, or placing a wet paper towel over your dish. The way microwaves cook food nixes the need to add extra oils. The best part is, you can microwave just about anything, from veggies and rice to meat and eggs. And studies suggest it may just be one of the best ways to preserve nutrients in veggies; microwaving broccoli is the best way to preserve its vitamin C, for example. Just make sure to use a microwave-safe container.

Boiling

Boiling is quick, easy, and all you need to add are water and a touch of salt, but the high temperatures and the large volume of water can dissolve and wash away water-soluble vitamins up to 60 to 70 percent of minerals in some foods, especially certain vegetables.

Research actually suggests boiling could be the best way to preserve nutrients in carrots, zucchini, and broccoli (when compared to steaming, frying, or eating raw).

Steaming

Cooking anything from fresh veggies to fish fillets this way allows them to stew in their own juices and retain all their natural goodness. No need for fat-laden additions to up the moisture. It is always good to add a little seasoning first, whether a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice. If the carcinogen-fighting glucosinolates in broccoli are important to you, some research suggests steaming could be the best way to cook the little green trees. In the body, glucosinolates become compounds called isothiocyanates, which some research suggests may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Poaching

The same goes for boiling’s cousin, poaching — no additives. Basically, poaching means cooking the given food in a small amount of hot water (just below boiling point). It takes slightly longer (which some experts believe can decrease nutrient retention), but is a great way to gently cook delicate foods like fish, eggs, or fruit.

Broiling

Broiling entails cooking food under high, direct heat for a short period of time. Broiling is a great way to cook tender cuts of meat (remember to trim excess fat before cooking), but may not be ideal for cooking veggies, since they can dry out easily.

Grilling

In terms of getting maximum nutrition without sacrificing flavour, grilling is a great option. It requires minimal added fats and imparts a smoky flavour while keeping meats and veggies juicy and tender.

While these are definitely healthy benefits, not everything about grilling is so good for you. Some research suggests that regularly consuming charred, well-done meat may increase risk of pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. Cooking at high heat can also produce a chemical reaction between the fat and protein in meat, creating toxins that are linked to the imbalance of antioxidants in the body and inflammation, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This does not mean BBQs are forbidden — just stick with lean cuts of meat that require less cooking time, and keep dark meats on the rarer side.

Stir-frying

While this method does require some oil in the pan, it should only be a moderate amount — just enough to get a nice sear on your meat and vegetables. It is effective for bite-sized pieces of meat, grains like rice and quinoa, and thin-cut veggies like bell peppers, julienned carrots, and snow peas.

No Cooking!

Raw food diets have gained tons of attention recently, and for good reason. Many studies suggest there are benefits of incorporating more raw foods into the diet: Studies have shown eating the rainbow consistently reduces the risk of cancer, but the jury is out on whether raw or cooked is really best overall.

On the one hand, since the diet is mostly plant-based, you end up eating more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, with no added sugars or fats from cooking, but while some raw items might be super-healthy, studies have found that cooking can actually amplify some nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes and antioxidants in carotenoids such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and peppers.[1]


[1] Kathryn, Siegel, THE HEALTHIEST COOKING METHODS EXPLAINED, Feb. 01, 2013.

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