How to Prevent Vitamin Loss When Cooking Vegetables

by in Healthy Tips, April 8, 2013

asparagus
There’s no doubt vegetables have lots of good nutrition to offer, but how you purchase, store, and prepare them can dramatically affect their value.  Here’s what you need to know when cooking up your favorite veggies.

Farm to Table
As soon as vegetables are picked, their nutrient clock beings to tick away. The more time it spends off the plant, the more vitamins will be lost.

For this reason, seeking out local produce when possible is never a bad idea — the less time it takes for the veggies to get to your plate, the more nutrients they’ll retain. Support local agriculture in your community or get your hands dirty by planting some of your own herbs and vegetables – you can’t get more local than that.

Home Storage
Once you get those fresh vegetables home, minimize additional nutrient loss by eating them right away or storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Cold temperatures will limit the degradation of vitamins so use the vegetable drawer in your fridge (where humidity is higher) and store in an air-tight bag or container. Avoid trimming and chopping prior to storage too, this will limit surface area and help lock more of the vitamins inside.

Get tips for the best way to freeze vegetables

Heat Sensitive
Cooking veggies can further diminish the content of various water-soluble vitamins including folate, thiamin, B6 and vitamin C, especially in foods that sit out heated for more than 2 hours (think buffet or cafeteria style). Vitamin A, riboflavin and niacin tend to hang in there a bit better, while fiber and minerals will remain virtually unaffected.

Holding On
Overcooked veggies are better than no veggies at all BUT quick cooking will maximize nutrients. Take advantage of as many vitamins as possible by following these tips:

  • Keep skins on when possible
  • Avoid continuous reheating of food
  • Use a minimal amount of cooking liquid
  • Choose steaming over boiling
  • When you do boil, retain the cooking liquid for a future use (like soups and stocks)
  • Use the microwave 
  • Use a pressure cooker when possible
  • Avoid using baking soda to retain color
  • Cut veggies into large chunks to reduce surface area

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

More posts from .

Similar Posts

10 Health Foods We’re All Saying the Wrong Way (Kefir, Anyone?)

It’s a cruel fact: Many of the foods that are potentially good for us also have names seemingly designed to trip us up. Who among us did not hav...

Comments (158)

  1. Awesome Article…

    Great, kudos for sharing your blog post. Many thanks Again. Continue writing….

  2. yes click…

    I saw this really great post today….

  3. crowd control systems…

    Controlling the crowd outside any event can be difficult….

  4. vigrx says:

    [...]while the sites we link to below are completely unrelated to ours, we think they are worth a read, so have a look[...]…

    [...]just below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, however, they are definitely worth checking out[...]…

  5. Испания…

    your free ticket you will still be working in the mines like the others;…

  6. Informative Article…

    Great, appreciate it for sharing your blog article. Thanks All over again. Cool….

  7. good superb high high quality report…

    Fairly valuable topic, because of get producing….

  8. vigrx says:

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]…

  9. payday loans says:

    payday loans…

    My partner and I stumbled more than here various web site and believed I ought to check issues out….

  10. escort bayan says:

    escort bayan…

    [...]Nice blog here! Also your website lots up fast![...]…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>