By Invite, Aman Gupta, Co-founder of http://Foodport
Somebody truly said that, “True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington”. In other words, your health depends on what you buy and how you cook it.
Most people know what to buy, but very few of them know how to cook it in a way that the natural nutrients of food remain intact after it has been cooked.
It is this little gap in knowledge that makes all the difference in healthy – unhealthy food. But, if you follow some set rules at every stage of the cooking process, you can easily retain the nutrients in your food.
Here are few expert tips and tricks to help you do just that:
Go for fresh– Always ensure that the fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, that you’ll be using for your dish are fresh. The minute food starts to wilt; it starts to lose its nutrients. Don’t store raw food for more than 1-2 days and leafy vegetables should be consumed on the same day.
When you clean– Whenever possible wash your vegetables before you cut/chop them. Washing them after cutting can wash away nutrients as well.
Go for scrubbing instead of peeling- If you need to remove the skin of the vegetables, try scrubbing instead of peeling. The skin of certain vegetables also contains nutrients, so if possible try to use/eat them with the peels. For e.g. you can eat potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, beets; and fruits like apples, pears along with their skin.
Try steaming instead of boiling– Vegetables tend to lose nutrients if boiled for a long time, especially leafy vegetables. To ensure that the natural nutrients remain intact, try to steam vegetables whenever possible. Don’t throw away the water that the vegetables were boiled in; use it for making soup and stock.
Consider baking instead of Frying- As far as possible try to bake your food – poultry, fish, meat, vegetables like potatoes, Lady Finger etc. instead of frying them. Certain foods tend to soak up a lot of oil when fried and lose their nutrients in the process.
Use whole-grain flour instead of White flour– Try to use whole grain flour as much as possible. If you’re using the white flour for coating the food before baking, replace a little white flour with whole wheat flour. You’re food will be both crunchy and healthy.
Keep salt to the minimum– Salt is a necessary ingredient, but if used in access it can lead to a host of health problems like dehydration, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
Cook on low heat– Too much heat tends to kill the natural nutrients of the food, so always cook on low heat.
Add some fat– Fat helps your body to absorb the nutrients from your food. So don’t do away with oil completely. Instead, use good quality olive oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, peanut, or coconut oil to cook your food.
Avoid some fat– Go for the low fat version of milk, cheese, curd for your cooking. This helps in keeping the calories in check.
Follow these tips and ensure that you consume your food soon after it is prepared; reheating also results in nutrient loss.