Why you should never boil your vegetables

Publish Date
Monday, 28 November 2016, 9:29AM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

As hard as we try, it can be difficult to eat your five-a-day, everyday.

But even if you do achieve this goal, your diet is probably still not as healthy as it could be.

And that's all down to the way many of us cook our veggies - which can ruin the health benefits that are otherwise contained in our favourite superfoods.

So if you're boiling your vegetables, stop at once.

Cooking them in this way could be eradicating up to 50 per cent of the vegetable's nutrients, according to nutritionist Tracy Lesht.

She told Shape magazine that certain vegetables, namely those containing water-soluble vitamins, should never be boiled if you can avoid it.

That includes cabbage, spinach, kale, broccoli, spinach, beans, and peas.

The reason is that water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water - so if you boil vegetables containing these vitamins, you won't see much health benefit from them.

But this isn't to say you should just stop eating these nutrient-packed foods altogether.

Lesht suggests an alternative to boiling them ferociously - and the trick is to never cook them for too long.

She says: 'Minimise the cooking time and use small amounts of water with low heat to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients.'

The advice is backed by by NHS Choices, who has blogged about the issue on its website.
It says: 'By cooking foods, especially boiling them, we lose some of these vitamins.

'The best way to keep as many of the water-soluble vitamins as possible is to steam or grill foods, rather than boil them, or to use the cooking water in soups or stews rather than pouring it away.'

Reassuringly though, Lesht advises vegetable lovers not to get too hung up on cooking technique.

She told Shape: 'At the end of the day, your food needs to be palatable to you. It's more important to consume fruits and vegetables cooked and prepared the way you enjoy them than it is to be overly concerned with their bioavailability and nutrient loss due to cooking.

'In the grand scheme of things, eating a vegetable and only absorbing 50 per cent of its nutrients is still better than not eating the vegetable at all.'

Daily Mail

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