Cook it Right: Are you unknowingly making your food LESS nutritious?
We all believe in “Health is Wealth.” But are we sure we’re doing enough to keep ourselves healthy?
Researchers, scientists, and now even homemakers – everyone has just one quest: Are we doing everything it takes to stay healthy?
Since the inception of Vadodara’s Get Farm Fresh, we have been trying to inspire a healthy lifestyle. Processed food and junk food occupies a lion’s share of the modern menu. Unfortunately, we are in a crucial time of health crisis and every little action makes a difference to our immunity. Let’s have a check through a list of so-called nutritive foods and probe their real nutritive value.
Here are some ways we may be unknowingly consuming LESS nutritious food. Read on to uncover some astonishing cooking ways you must avoid.
Reduce intake of processed food
Fast-paced life has made us accustomed to so-called processed food which lacks nutrition and is generally high in sugars, trans fats, and artificial ingredients. Generally speaking, if the processing is only mechanical (like grinding), it does not make the food unhealthy. Ultra-processed or chemical processing such as in frozen, ready to eat meals, packaged bread, processed cheese, biscuits, cakes, chips, sweetened drinks are all the leading causes of obesity in the world and must be avoided.
Have cooked tomatoes
Lycopene being one of the prominent nutrients of tomatoes becomes more bioavailable when it’s cooked. Research shows that cooking tomatoes (such as in tomato sauce or tomato paste) increase the lycopene content that can be absorbed by your body. It also increases the total antioxidant activity.
Crunch out your spinach in Popeye’s style
Do you boil vegetables like spinach? This allows valuable nutrients like vitamin C to leach out into the water. The difference in nutrient content can be dramatic before and after boiling. For instance, after 10 minutes of boiling, three-quarters of the phytonutrients in spinach will be lost to the cooking water. Think over: before boiling your spinach or use the water in the dish!
Fat-Free Salad Dressing might turn out unhealthy
When fat is removed from a food product, it’s usually replaced by sugar/fructose in order to taste good, and this is a recipe for poor health. Excess fructose in your diet drives insulin and leptin resistance, which are at the heart of not only diabetes but most other chronic diseases as well.
Further, some nutrients and antioxidants are fat-soluble, which means you must eat them with fat to properly absorb them. Using a dressing that contains healthy fats helps you ensure maximum nutrient absorption from your salad. This time on…dress up your salad quite lavishly!
Let your Garlic rest for a while
Garlic contains the precursors to allicin, which is one of the most potent antioxidants from the plant kingdom. Garlic has a robust defense system to protect itself from insects and fungi. It enzymatically produces allicin within seconds when it is injured. The crushing of its tissues causes a chemical reaction between the alliin and the alliinase, and allicin produced—nature’s “insecticide.” Allicin is quickly deactivated by heat.
However, if you let chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes before exposing it to heat, the enzyme that creates allicin will have time to finish working, and your finished dish should have a much higher allicin content. That being said, allicin is short-lived, lasting less than an hour. So once you’ve crushed your garlic and let it rest, try to consume it as quickly as possible. Better still, use a garlic press instead of a knife.
Chilled potatoes are better than hot potatoes
Eating white potatoes often, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. However, if you do choose to eat them at least chill them for about 24 hours after cooking. This converts the starch into a type that’s digested slower and turns this high-glycemic vegetable into a low-glycemic one. Potato lovers beware!
Avoid Cutting Carrots Prior to Cooking
Resist the urge to chop up your carrots before adding them to soups and casseroles. Research suggests that keeping the carrots whole, and cutting them up after they’re cooked, helps retain nutrients. Also, like tomatoes, carrots may be better for you cooked than raw. Cooking helps break down the cell walls so your body has an easier time absorbing nutrients. Further, one study found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta-carotene and phenolic acids than raw carrots, and the antioxidant activity continued to increase over a period of four weeks.