Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cooking tips: Ways to preserve Vitamins

Ø  Cooking at high temperature leads to destruction of nutrients and formation of harmful substances

Ø  Steaming, pressure cooking,baking,stir frying,roasting,grilling is better than frying

Ø  Do not soak the cut vegetables in water for long time

Ø  Do not discard the excess water left over after cooking

Ø  Cook food in vessels covered with lids

Ø  Avoid aluminum vessels and use iron tavas as it increases iron content in food.

Ø  Do not heat the left over oil repeatedly as it leads to formation of toxic substances.

Ø  One must refrigerate fruits and vegetables until they are to be used. Enzymes in food start destroying the vitamins once the fruit or vegetable is picked. Chilling slows this process.

Ø   Avoid cutting fruits and vegetables into very small pieces. The greater the surface area, the more is the destruction of vitamins due to its exposure to air and surroundings.

Ø  It is a common practice to throw outer leaves of lettuce and other greens. They should be preserved if they are not damaged and decayed. This is because these are higher in vitamins and minerals than the inner tender leaves or stems. The skins of potatoes and carrots are also higher in vitamins and minerals than their central part. So, one must scrub, or peel them thinly at best.

Ø  The lesser the contact with water and shorter the cooking time, the more nutrients are retained. Whenever possible, use a pressure cooker as it helps to shorten the cooking time, thereby preserving more nutrients.

Ø  It’s a myth that throwing away the water from rice after cooking helps in weight management rather this results in losing most of the vitamin B. Choose parboiled rice or brown rice over polished rice.

Ø  Do not add baking soda to vegetables while cooking to enhance green color. The alkalinity destroys vitamin C, Vit B and other vitamins.

Ø  Keep milk cold, covered, and away from strong light. Vit B 3 is lost when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Ø  Nuts, seeds and oils should be stored in cool and dark containers to avoid rancidity and loss of vitamins.

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