Vegetable is the best food which we eat to live a healthy and active life. They are eaten during lunch and dinner and even in breakfast. Different vegetable have different nutrient contents. Among these green vegetables are considered to be the most important as they are said to be toxin remover from body. Fresh vegetables provide high nutrients. Try to buy fresh vegetables. Avoid damaged vegetables with cuts, black scars on them. During buying green vegetables ensure that their leaves are crisp, green, and fresh. Root vegetables should be free from any brown marks. After buying fresh vegetables when we cook them their nutrients decrease considerably.
Here are some tips which we can follow to maintain most nutrients of vegetable while cooking:
1. Always wash vegetables before you cut or peel them. Washing after cutting removes most of the important nutrients. Never soak them; soaking can remove the key nutrients like Vitamin C. Wash and cut them just before cooking.
2. One of the best ways to keep the nutrients of vegetables is to cook them with peel. Some vegetables like potato, carrots do not require peeling before cooking. Cook them with their peel. Peeling can remove the most nutrients as they are just under the peel.
3. To maintain the nutrient content try to bake or roast some vegetables instead of cooking them in oil like potato, carrots, tomato, cauliflower etc. There is more nutrient content in baked potato instead of potato cooked in oil.
4. Use pressure cooker to cook food instead of using frying pan. This helps you to use little water. Food is cooked by steam which helps to retain nutrients, and their color.
5. You can also use microwave to cook food. As they are cooked in steam, there is least reduction of nutrients from vegetables.
6. Try to cook food in sufficient water. Boiling vegetables for more time can remove nutrients. Water left over after boiling vegetables can be used in stocks and soups. Water which is used for boiling potaoes can be used in stocks and soups.
7. If you are cooking food in a pan, cover it with a lid to retain the heat in the pan. This will cook food faster.
8. Try to eat some vegetables in their raw form like carrots, reddish, tomatoes, onions etc.
9. Do not overcook the food.
10. Store vegetables in a plastic bag.
11. Never use baking soda during cooking food. Instead of it use lime juice or tamarind juice.
12. Try to ferment batter for idli, dosa naturally instead of using soda.
13. Try to cut larger pieces of vegetables instead of thin slices. This will cause less reduction of nutrients.
14. To get more iron from vegetables, cook food in iron pan. This will increase the iron in your diet.
15. Try to consume them just after cooking.