Natural Sources Of Vitamins And Antioxidants: How To Prepare Your Veggies
I think most of us have developed the idea that certain kinds of preparation techniques are better than others, but the truth may surprise you. I, for example, always held the notion that raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli were probably the healthiest of all. Picking these right out of the garden, washing them a bit and chomping on them for a snack seemed like the best possible connection with mother nature and therefore the best, most nutritious method of obtaining the nutrients.
These and other vegetables provide valuable nutrients in the form of carotenoids and other important antioxidants that play a helpful role in disease prevention, especially cardiovascular disease and cancers.
But food science studies have shown us that we are not as successful absorbing these valuable antioxidants if we just chew them up in their raw form. For one thing, without any fat mixed in with the raw vegetables, we are a lot less likely to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants (did someone say olive oil in salad dressing?) In addition, the lack of any cooking means that most of these fat-soluble molecules are not liberated and digested enough to be absorbed. So a little bit of cooking helps unlock these antioxidant nutrients. And want to know the strange part? Of all the cooking methods examined, it’s likely that microwaving may result in the best liberation of nutrients while still preserving their minimal absorbable form. So much for my theory of staying closely in touch with mother nature.