Are you getting the most nutrients from your food? It is important to get the right nutrients in your diet and we want to make sure we are getting the maximum nutrients from our food.
Proper handling of food can ensure that you are getting the most nutrients in your diet. When food is prepared properly it ensures that there is minimum nutrient loss and maximum food quality.
If food is poorly prepared, important nutrients can be lost. For example some minerals and water-soluble vitamins dissolve when cooked in water, and high temperatures with long cooking times can destroy heat-sensitive nutrients such as folate and Vitamin C.
So here are the top 8 tips to keep your food as nutritious as possible:
1. Don’t peel those carrots and potatoes. Leave edible skins on fruits and vegetables. Many vitamins and minerals are found in the skin or the area just under the skin, not to
mention the fibre too. If you are not used to having the skin on your food, start slowly by leaving a quarter of the skin on and increase the amount of skin over time.
2. Avoid soaking vegetables and fruits. The water can dissolve some vitamins. Use a brush and water to clean thick skinned foods.
3. Raw is best. Try to eat your fruit and vegetables raw whenever possible, because the cooking process will often see a loss of nutrients. Specifically, heat breaks down Vitamins B1 and B5, folate and Vitamin C. The following foods are best eaten raw because they are high in these nutrients:
* sunflower seeds, peas and brussels sprouts (source of vitamin B1),
* broccoli, cauliflower, kale and avocado (source of vitamin B5),
* spinach and broccoli (source of folate), and
* capsicum, broccoli, and brussels sprouts (source of vitamin C).
4. Less cooking is best. Use cooking methods that reduce the cooking time, such as steaming or microwaving. Some nutrients are lost over long cooking periods.
5. Use cooking methods where the food does not come in contact with water, such as steaming. When food comes in contact with water some nutrients will be transferred into the water and some nutrients will be dissolved by the water.
6. Keep the boiling water for soups! It is not always possible to avoid boiling vegetables. In this case a lot of the nutrients will be transferred to or dissolved in the water. Keep this nutrient and flavour rich stock for a soup. You can freeze it or keep it in the fridge for dinner the following night.
7. Pair foods to maximise nutrient absorption. This is a whole topic on its own, but put simply when some foods are eaten together they enhance the metaolbism of nutrients. For example, try to eat fat soluble vitamins (for example Vitamins A and D) with fat; and Vitamin C rich foods assist with the absorption of iron. I will do a more detailed post on this soon!
8. Keep milk in its container in the fridge. When milk comes in contact with sunlight is loses some riboflavin.
These tips will ensure you get the most nutrients from your food. Do you have any more tips to keep the nutrients in food?