People are just realizing they've been cooking their vegetables all wrong | The Sun

FOOD experts have revealed that the way many people cook their vegetables is all wrong.

When it comes to vegetables, similar to several food groups, there are many ways they can be prepared.

However, University of Guelph professor Dr. Keith Warriner, a food science expert, warned that boiling is the worst way to serve them due to losing the necessary nutrients.

“Food has all these nutrients in it like protein, antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols – our job is to cook these foods to make them safe, but we also need to preserve the nutrients the best we can,” he told Global News.

Vitamins and minerals from the vegetables are lost to the boiling water through what's called "leeching," where the heat pulls them into the water.

Warriner noted that different foods have different sensitivities to heat — like cauliflower, for example, which is better cooked but must only be given a certain amount of heat to not lose its vitamins.

“Eating raw cauliflower isn’t the best experience so we have to cook it and the mode of cooking dictates how many vitamins you lose,” he said.

Either way, boiling other vegetables still runs a great risk of losing all of the healthy aspects of the food.

"You’re going to lose a lot of the nutrients in the water unless you use it for soup,” the professor explained.

Additionally, boiling for a lengthy period specifically results in the loss of vitamin C, folate, and niacin, which all end up in the water in the pot instead of the food itself.

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Any way you slice it, boiling will almost always take the nutrients out of the vegetables.

In lieu of that, food experts suggest steaming as the best option to have a similar cooked effect on the vegetables without losing all the vitamins and minerals.

University of Illinois scientists even proved steaming to be superior through a 2013 experiment where they boiled, steamed, and stir-fried vegetables, Global News reported.

The group concluded that steaming at around three to four minutes would result in the vegetables maintaining a vibrant coloring and all their nutrients.

Stir-frying is another solid option for those people looking to cook their vegetables, but again, watching heat and heat exposure is crucial to ensure that the nutrients aren't lost.

Susan Macfarlane, an Ottawa-based registered dietitian, advised at-home cooks to use oils with higher smoke points as well, including avocado, almond, corn, and peanut oils, among others.

She explained to the publication that a quick hack for the most effective stir-frying includes briefly steaming the vegetables beforehand and then stir-frying them quickly after.

Although Warriner noted that eating vegetables raw still might be the best way to get nutrients if food lovers don't mind having them served in that way.

He noted that broccoli, cabbage, and leafy greens perform best without any heat added.

Despite this, other vegetables like carrots and tomatoes actually do better with heat, given that they have a phytochemical called lycopene.

The heat helps lycopene be absorbed into the body.

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For more related content, check out The U.S. Sun's coverage of why one food expert says people have been cooking broccoli all wrong.

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