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

6 Healthy Eating Apps That Are Worth a Download

There are so many health and fitness apps it can make hard to determine which ones are worthwhile. Here are 8 healthy food apps that you’ll actually use regularly.

Comments (158)

  1. Thanks A Lot Again…

    Appreciate you writing, amazing writing. Impressive….

  2. Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  3. Nice Website……

    [...]Thanks for a very informative website. What else may I get that kind of info written in such an ideal way? I’ve a challenge that I am just now operating on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.[...]…

  4. Great post……

    [...]I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the future also. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own website going now. Really blo…

  5. Wonderful Article…

    I actually value the fantastic post. A whole lot obliged….

  6. more info says:

    [...]just beneath, are various completely not related internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re certainly worth going over[...]…

  7. distill wine says:

    Wow…

    Thanks-a-mundo for the article. Really want more….

  8. Вопросы по играм/online играм…

    Imagine Mr. Hastings’ astonishment when, soon after he had made his last…

  9. my blog says:

    [...]Here are a number of the internet sites we advocate for our visitors[...]…

  10. page says:

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

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>