Cooking vegetables right

Most nutrition experts give advice – it should eat a lot of vegetables to have a healthy diet. In fact, adding vegetables in your diet will contribute to reducing the risk of stroke, cognitive decline, high blood pressure, cancers, macular degeneration, heart attack, and cataracts. Vegetables are considered as a factor that helps decrease inflammation, against free radicals, and enhance immunity, thanks to combining the protective ingredients including phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Nonetheless, to get the maximum source of nutrition, you need to know how to cook them properly. It should know that the majority of cooking methods will make the nutrient in vegetables change, even, some still destroy the specific nutrients, but others can help increase the nutritional intake. Let’s learn together!

Which Best Way to Maximize the Nutritional Value of Vegetable When Cooking?

Pay Attention Vulnerable Vitamins

Frequently, the nutrients of the B vitamins and vitamin C are unstable when mentioning to cooking. These vitamins are easy to dissolve in water, so they are quickly cooking-water-soluble. In a case of boiling vegetables or utilizing a microwave having plenty of water along with, it makes sure that folate, thiamine, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 will lose a bit; especially, vitamin C.

Vitamin C
In comparison with raw, cooking vegetables will lose at least 55% of vitamin C because the heat can make it be degraded – the researchers at the University of California, Davis have reviewed.

Aside from that, phytochemicals (polyphenols) are quickly degradation when cooking, in particular, broccoli, spinach, and kale. The vitamins A, K, and E (fat-soluble nutrients) are relatively stable when cooking. In additional to that, there also have carotenoids – lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene, and alpha-carotene. You can find antioxidants in carrots, sweet potato, green vegetables, winter squash, tomatoes, and more.

The Microwave

When saying to the nutrient loss while cooking, the leading enemy is water. Correspondingly, steaming is always considered as the most efficient method so as to preserve the food from losses, particularly, the vitamin B and vitamin C. When steaming vegetables, many vitamins will be retained because they mustn’t contact with water.

On the other hand, stir-frying, grilling, or roasting is also considered as the beneficial cooking methods owing to a great number of nutrients are retained in comparison with boiling. Would you like to boil vegetables? Well, you can use the vegetable-boiled water for your next sauces or soups.

Microwaving vegetables
It is rich in the nutrient. It is probably that you will be surprising – your vegetables will not lose many nutrients when microwaving. Yes, the fact is likely to outrank steaming if mentioned to maintaining antioxidants. Based on a report of the Journal of Food Science in 2009, microwaving helped retain antioxidants at the highest level compared to baking, boiling, o pressure cooking, in particular, in garlic, beans, spinach, beets, onion, asparagus, and artichoke. Aside from that, antioxidants in corn, Swiss chard, eggplant, and peppers also increased during microwaving. It is noticed that the most antioxidant losses are pressure-cooking and boiling.

According to Cornell researchers, most folates in spinach were retained during microwaving while the majority of the vitamin B was lost when boiling. Accordingly, if compared to some of other cooking methods, the microwave utilizes less heat than, even, the cooking time is also shorter. You don’t overcook and just use a little water for your vegetables, right? Ideally, there is the microwaving. A study in 2003, microwaving could destroy antioxidants in broccoli. Nevertheless, there was due to they added a lot of water when microwaving.

Raw vs Cooked

A large number of people think that raw vegetables are many nutrients compared with cooked, but this one is not necessary for all cases. Cell walls of the plants will be broken down when cooking. Besides, many the bound nutrients are also released. What’s more, in comparison with raw vegetables, antioxidants in cooked vegetables are supplied more, lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein, for example.

Cooked vegetables also contain plenty of minerals. Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are rich in calcium. To bind calcium and make many minerals so that the body can absorb, it recommends using heat. Plus, the amount of iron and magnesium for the body are increased by cooking vegetables.

Raw vs cooked vegetables
Nonetheless, there still have some cases that raw vegetables are better than cooked vegetables. Myrosinase in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or broccoli is quickly destroyed by cooking at the high temperature. If you cook cruciferous vegetables, isothiocyanates – anti-cancer compounds can be going to be reduced a significant way.

Based on a published study in 2009, both boiling and stir-frying will cause the large loss of glucosinolates in comparison with steaming, in particular, there is broccoli. Let’s remember this one!

Fresh vs Frozen Vegetables

You choose…
When coming to the nutrient loss, cooking is not an only manner. Before you can microwave, steam, or stir-fry vegetables, they are able to be degraded some nutrients while transporting, from the distributed place to the supermarket or grocery store, for example. If possible, you ought to purchase vegetables of farmers. The purpose is to minimize the harvest time to the table time.

For the out-of-season vegetables, you can consider freezing. It is known that the nutrients in frozen vegetables may be combined in a closely way when they are freshly picked. It can say that there is the peak time for the nutrient. Frequently, the vegetables shipped to the store are less time to grow their nutrients a full way.


In fact, there don’t have any cooking methods, which can retain whole nutrients in vegetables, from steaming, boiling, cooking, stir-frying, microwaving, or toasting – the top toaster ovens. That’s why we don’t give any limitation related to cooking vegetables or recommending only eating salad.

The bottom line is we want you to recognize the variety of cooking the vegetable that you can follow, depending on your need and preference – grilling, roasting, boiling, eating raw,… It is important that you have to know which methods are suitable for the vegetables to retain at least the necessary nutrition value.

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