It is highly recommended that one should ingestvegetables in their raw form so as not to lose the full practical nutritionalbenefits they provide.
But a cooking method that exactly matches anddoes not expose the food to any critical damage can also provide the needednutritional benefits too.
Almost all human cultures have evolved over time to includevarious types of cooked food, including vegetables, into their diets.
There are certain cases where a vegetable’s variety ofnutritional benefits is released into the digestive tract at an increased rate by cooking them.Onions and garlic belong to the Allium family of vegetables and they are one ofthe best examples of this practice. All the members of the Allium family haveextreme sulfur-containing values which tend to protect our overall health.These values get increased when exposed to heat, triggering various chemicalreactions that are beneficial to variations in the aforementioned sulfurcompounds.
It is very important to cook each type of food accordingly toavoid losing most, if not all of its nutritional quality. Sometimes even 30seconds of exposure to steam can cause a significant loss of nutrients and alterthe actual composition of the nutrients.
Every single type of vegetable responds toits own individual heat exposure requirements. So it is important to payattention to each vegetable’s required cooking time and the optimal cookingtemperature.
Spinach is to be boiled only for a minute, for instance. Anythingabove that mark will cause the loss of precious nutritional values. Kale, forexample, requires fives minutes of steaming to draw its nutritional potential tothe maximum.
The benefits of steaming compared to boiling cannot bestressed enough. With longer exposure to heat, food will lose its nutrients evenmore.
If all other factors accounted are equal, steaming offers a significantlylower rate of nutritional value loss than boiling. That is the main reason why steaming is preferred over boiling.
Raw vegetables arenot always the best choices when it comes to the nutritional value of the food. Oneshould take into consideration the freshness of a raw vegetable, as well as itslong exposure to light and air before ingestion. The body relies heavily onchewing in order to prepare the uncooked food for digestion. Short periods ofcooking a vegetable may greatly enhance its digestibility.
A proper mix of raw and cooked vegetables should provide thebest nutritional values in the meal plan. Chewing the food well and followingthe precise cooking and steaming suggestions and requirements should providethe maximum nutritional benefits of both raw and cooked vegetables.