Let’s start by thinking about those moments when our mom’s would warn us to eat our vegetables. As kids, we must have thought it was annoying and pointless. But you will agree with me that those “eat your vegetable “ moments are finally beginning to pay off.
However, boosting your health and the quality of your diet is more than just eating a salad. If you want to get the maximum nutrients, then we’re going to show you ways you may have been taking the important nutrients out of the veggies without realizing it. Plus you can learn the easy ways to remedy each mistake so you can stay on track for better health and know the right way to cook vegetables the right way.
Below are a few mistakes you may be making :
Mistake: You don’t stray from the recipe
You may have followed the recipe step-by-step, but that doesn’t mean you cooked your vegetables the right way. The most common error you make is that you expose the veggies to heat for way too long. Exposing veggies to so much heat destroys most of the vegetables nutrients.
It’s also not a good idea to boil. This is because the water soluble nutrients in the veggies like riboflavin, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B leaches out into the water and you end up getting rid of this way.
Another way to nix all the nutrients in your veggies? Throwing them into a deep fryer.
No matter how healthy your veggies are, they can’t undo the damage that comes along with all the excess fat.
So forget boiling and deep frying and learn other healthy ways to make your veggies. For example, you could steam for just five minutes and then finish them in a saucepan over medium heat. If you want to make homemade “fries,” stay far away from the deep frier and bake your crunchy sticks on a metal tray instead.
Mistake: You’re smoking them out.
Of course, you might love the slightly burnt flavour that your grill gives your veggie kabobs, exposing your veggies to a dry and hot environment can deplete the nutrients in your veggies. It’s even way worse if you leave the veggies too long on the grill so much that they have a blackened charred appearance, it’s a sign that the veggies could have been exposed to benzopyrene. Benzopyrene is a carcinogenic chemical found in cigarette smoke. Apart from that, you could ruin your veggies by slathering veggies in oil in an attempt to rush the cooking. When the oil is exposed to so much heat, the smoke ends up breaking down the antioxidants in vegetables.
We suggest instead, that if you’re going to be BBQing outside, cook your vegetables in a grill basket instead. This will help eliminate the risk of consuming dangerous char, while helping the veggies retain their moisture, vitamins, and minerals. Whipping up dinner indoors? Stick to medium-high cooking heat and skip the olive oil drizzle before heating your veggies. Cooking them dry and adding the fat after will help cut back on antioxidant-depleting smoke.
Mistake: You’re juicing away their fiber
We’ll, it’s better to juice than to eat no veggies at all. But the bad news is, when your veggies go through a juicer, its skin rich in fiber and its pulp is ruined. The good news is, you’ll still have minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.
We suggest you keep the juicer far away from your vegetables. It’s much better if you blend them instead. That way, the fibre remains.
There are plenty of juicing companies that bottle blended versions, so you can grab a juice on the go without missing out on crucial fiber. If your drink comes out too thick when blending at home, add some water to thin it out a bit.
Mistake: You only eat them raw.
There’s nothing better than the sweet, crispy crunch of a fresh carrot, but munching on this orange vegetable raw isn’t the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins.
A food research says that boiling the orange vegetable is the best way to preserve its nutrients. This may be a bit of a shocker for you and we understand because a lot of veggies lose their water-soluble vitamins once they are boiled.
Tomatoes also get healthier under heat. According to a study, cooking boosts the amount of lycopene. Researchers believer that the heat probably softens the cell walls of the plant, letting more nutrients get released which can then be absorbed by the body.
In the Cornell University study, lycopene absorption rose 35 percent after tomatoes were cooked for 30 minutes at 190.4 degrees. We suggest you therefore follow suit if you want to reap the benefits at home. If you prefer to add carrots to your plate, boil, drain, and transfer them to a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, a bit of pepper, and dried rosemary to pump up the flavor.
Mistake: You’re not pairing them with fat
If you stick with low-fat veggie dip to stay slim, you may be doing your health a disservice. Researchers say that pairing a little bit of fat with red, yellow, orange, and dark-green vegetables helps the body absorb cancer-fighting and heart-healthy nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene. Study findings show that you’ll need to consume six grams of added fat with your veggies to reap the maximum nutritional benefits. While that may seem like a lot, dietary guidelines actually suggest that healthy adults consume no more than 35 percent of total daily calories from fat—which is up to 70 grams a day if you’re consuming a 1,800-calorie diet.
What we suggest you do is pair your veggies with healthy sources of fat. Typically, eat a salad for lunch. Add a half cup of avocado (11 g fat) or two tablespoons of Cucina Antica Organic Caesar dressing (8 g fat) to your plate to hit the nutritional mark.
Mistake: You skip the sink.
Conventionally-grown, pesticide-laden vegetables like celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, and tomatoes all made appearances on the 2018 Environmental Working Group’s annual Dirty Dozen List. If you tend to quickly rinse these veggies—or not wash them at all—you’re likely ingesting chemical residues that can cause stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhoea. The worst part is, these chemicals don’t just come and go. They hide out in our fat cells until we go on a diet and start losing weight. According to researchers, when the pounds start to come off, the chemicals come out of hibernation and shoot into the bloodstream, slowing energy expenditure and metabolism.
Even if you always buy organic, we suggest you soak your veggies in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes before eating them. Then give them another quick rinse under some running water to make sure they’re clean.