Although vegetables are good for your health, cooking them can lead to certain losses, particularly in vitamins and mineral salts. Here are some essential cooking tips to get the most out of the nutritional properties of vegetables.
Rich in water, fiber, vitamins (vitamin C, provitamin A, vitamin B9, etc.), mineral salts (potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, etc.) and low in lipids (fats), vegetables are anti-cancer foods. par excellence. Moreover, we find that the more a country’s diet is rich in vegetables and legumes, the less cancers are frequent. Even if some non-organic vegetables are contaminated with pesticides, the positive effect of anti-cancer molecules outweighs the negative effect of pesticides. It is therefore good to consume it daily. They still have to retain their nutritional properties after cooking!
“Water leads to a loss of mineral salts, so avoid soaking your vegetables to wash them and simply pass them under running water”, advises Sophie Pédrosa, dietician of APRIFEL, the Agency for Research and Information on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. On the peeling side, it is not systematic because the skin of vegetables can be rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. If peeling is unavoidable, then use a peeler to remove as little flesh as possible. Finally, be aware that the contact surface with the air increases the nutritional losses of your vegetables, so avoid cutting them into too small pieces.
Preferred cooking methods
Steam cooking has two advantages: it is short-lived, which allows the vegetables not to be in contact with the heat for too long, the latter causing the loss of vitamins. Finally, this cooking allows the food not to be cooked in water and therefore to retain its minerals. “Wok” cooking is also interesting because the vegetables are just “sealed” and cooked without cooking liquid, which allows them to keep their nutrients but also their crunch.
For vegetables that release water, stew them (cast iron casserole) because the food will cook in its own juices. Be careful, however, not to add too much fat or let them cook too long.
Namely: Crucifers (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, etc.) have proven anti-cancer properties. In order for them to retain all their properties, it is preferable to steam them or cook them in a wok.
Cooking methods to avoid
As you will have understood, long-term cooking carried out in a large volume of water leads to nutritional losses (loss of minerals in the water and loss of vitamins due to the heat). As for frying, avoid this mode because it adds unnecessary calories to your plate as well as Omega-6 in abundance. Similarly, cooking in a pressure cooker or pressure cooker is different from steaming, this process leads to a loss of vitamins due to the high temperature. Finally, avoid aluminum (pans, pressure cookers, cooking in foil) because dissolved in food, it can be harmful.
Pulses, a special case
Unlike other vegetables, legumes (chickpeas, peas, lentils, etc.) are soaked in cold water (overnight). Cooking must then be long and gentle, never at a rolling boil. Quite the opposite of other vegetables!