Pomerene Hospital Blog
Cook in Color
Did you know that different cooking and baking methods of your fruits and vegetables can increase or decrease the amount of nutrients you get in your food?
Below is some education and tips to try different cooking methods, without losing the benefits of your produce:
- Fresh- Fresh is best? Not always the case. In some forms of cooking it activates the nutrient to become more available when heated rather than
eaten fresh. Though, many fruits and vegetables contain majority of vitamins and minerals in this state. Your water-soluble vitamins, B and C.
- Bake/Roast- A healthier version to frying because the oil or fats that you may add to the food do not replace the water in the food, therefore
you are consuming less fat. Baking and roasting are basically the same thing, but used for different foods. Minimal vitamins and minerals are lost
through this method.
- Braise- This combination cooking method of searing then slow cooking an item in a liquid on low heat is primarily used for meats but can be
used for vegetables. Vitamins and minerals can leech into the liquid over the cooking period. Try to reuse the liquid in soups or other dishes
to use those nutrients that were lost.
- Boil- Nutrients can be lost in the water, especially if salt is added. Primarily your water-soluble vitamins, B and C. Consuming or reusing
the liquid is a great way to still consume those nutrients lost.
- Dehydration- A fan favorite for fruits primarily as an easy way to carry with you on-the-go. During the process, an acid such as citric acid
or lemon juice, is added to limit the bacteria growth. The acid and drying process can both alter the nutrient content.
- Fry- Aim for air fried or pan fried compared to deep fry, so that less oil or fats are being transferred into the food, while still maintaining
the crispy texture. High heats can alter fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K.
- Grill/Broil- Grilling and broiling are both dry heat methods that heat from the bottom (grill) or top (broiler). These heating methods can reduce
water- and fat-soluble nutrients if droplets are lost during cooking. Side note, reducing the amount of smoke can reduce your risk of potentially
harmful side effects.
- Microwave- A great method to heat your produce with minimal effects on nutrients. Microwave heats food by electromagnetic waves that cause the
molecules within the food to vibrate or bounce, causing friction among the food, and therefore heating the food. Due to its short cooking time,
much of the vitamins and minerals are maintained.
- Steam- A water-based method to cooking, using minimal water. Since it uses minimal water, majority of nutrients are maintained during process.
Jackie Genetin, RDN, LD