Vegetables is among the most important classes of food. On a healthy feeding pyramid, it should be close to the base if not the base itself.
Source: Precious Core
The reason for this is the nutrients found in vegetables are needed by the body for an optimal functioning. Vitamins, minerals and the rest of it. Vegetables can be leafy as can be seen in fluted pumpkin, spinach etc. On the other hand, they can also be non leafy as can be seen in carrots, cabbage etc.
Vegetables can be eaten raw as in the case of non leafy ones but most people would not afford to take some leafy vegetables without having them cooked. When cooking them, people tend to risk loosing some of these nutrients are they are very susceptible to heat. Here are 2 major precautions to take so as to avoid it -
1. Do Not Cut Before Washing
When leaves are about to be cooked, they are usually sliced. When cutting your leaves, it is more advisable to wash first before cutting.
The reason is, cutting the leaves would expose the nutrients in them to the atmosphere and when they are immersed in water to get washed, the water would also wash out some of their nutrients.
On the other hand, when you first wash before you cut, the exposed nutrients shall be headed straight to your food and not to be lost to your washing water.
2. Do Not Overcook
There could be a number of foods that require being cooked for a long time, vegetables are far away from such foods. If you must heat your vegetables, it should be for a very short duration. This is because their nutrients are vulnerable to heat and would evaporate when exposed to lots of it.
When you wish to add vegetables to your food, they should be the last thing to add into the pot so they don't spend much time on fire before being brought down.
With this you will conserve the nutrients and have them be beneficial to your body rather than loosing then to the atmosphere.
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