Choose the right cooking methods to get more nutrients

If we intend to eat at the same time that we nourish ourselves properly to avoid deficiencies of vitamins, minerals or other substances that the body needs, it is necessary that in addition to choosing and combining the ingredients properly, you choose the right cooking methods to get more nutrients.

During the cooking of a food, depending on the chosen technique, some micronutrients may be lost, therefore, it is important if you want to increase the nutritional density of your dishes, that is, the concentration of nutrients and not calories, that you choose properly the cooking method to use.

Ideal cooking methods for plant-based foods

Among the ingredients of plant origin that we can use we find cereals and derivatives, legumes, seeds, fruits and vegetables. The first ones within which we include pasta, rice, flour and others, have a high amount of B complex vitamins that are very soluble in water, while legumes in addition to these vitamins contain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium or others.

The seeds, for their part, have various minerals, B vitamins and vitamin E, and within fruits and vegetables we find a variety of micronutrients in their composition.

Given the nutrients that each one has, it is important that cereals and derivatives as well as legumes do not exceed time during cooking and it is also beneficial to obtain more nutrients, use little water when cooking. The best cooking methods are boiled with little water and in just enough time, always placing the food when the water is already at the boiling point. You can also perform a scalding consisting of a fast and intense boil, this technique is best for fresh pasta.

For the seeds we do not have major problems, because although their vitamins are soluble in fats they are stable to heat, but their minerals can be lost if we boil or immerse the seeds in an aqueous medium for a long time.

Regarding fruits and vegetables, there are a variety of ways to cook them, the best technique is steaming to make the most of the nutrients, since they are not submerged in water, therefore, the water-soluble vitamins C and B complex are not lost in significant quantities as when boiling, we can also cook microwave that does not require the addition of water where they can be lost in addition to vitamin C and complex B, potassium, chlorine, magnesium and other nutrients that are lost in the cooking water.

Other valid methods for cooking fruits and vegetables is by oven or to papillote, which, although they require high temperatures that can cause loss of nutrients, prevent the leakage of water-soluble micronutrients.

Of course, we also have cooking grilled or grilled, which can also cause heat loss, but we must bear in mind that we can cook fruits and vegetables for less time.

Ideal cooking methods for foods of animal origin

If we refer to foods of animal origin, we can talk about dairy products, which do not require cooking beyond the industrial process that leaves them free of bacteria harmful to the human body, and also, we can talk about eggs and meats.

The eggs They can be cooked in multiple ways, but the best options are those quick as a sauteed or grilled It does not require long-term heat exposure. Also, part of the frying may be lost during frying. vitamin A and D that this ingredient contains. Of course, the cooking of a hard-boiled egg during which the shell is not removed will not have negative effects on its chemical composition beyond the heat loss that it may suffer.

For the meats, the best cooking methods to obtain more nutrients are those in "dry" that is, baked, roasted or grilled, since boiling allows the loss of potassium and other minerals that are soluble in water and that these foods contain.

Likewise, meats contain folic acid, a vitamin that is lost in watery cooking, therefore, the best way to cook meats is to prepare them in the oven, on the grill or on the grill, or use cooking methods such as papillote which is similar to steaming or microwave cooking but allowing more flavor in the food.

So, if you want to take better advantage of nutrients in the kitchen, you must take into account not only the selection and combination of ingredients but also the cooking technique used, as many minerals and vitamins are lost when cooking due to the characteristics of the method used.

Some recipes with adequate cooking methods for their ingredients and that therefore conserve more nutrients are:

  • Mussels en papillote
  • Salmon with steamed vegetables
  • Grilled swordfish
  • Baked Pork Chops
  • Zucchini stir fry
  • Microwave Potatoes

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Image | Stormwarning, Stu_spivack and Jeff Kubina

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