Food is important to sustain livelihood, and the way you choose your food is very crucial in determining your immunity and overall health. However, there are certainly processing involved before you can eat your food, for instance by cooking them in order to eliminate micro organisms. These food processes varies, and can alter the amount of nutrients you get from those as well. Therefore, on this week's journal, we will be explaining a few things you can do when handling food to minimize nutrient loss. Read on!
1. Choose fresh produce
The nutrient clock of fruits and vegetables begin ticking away as soon as they're picked from the tree or soil. Vitamins and minerals on those fresh produce will be lost the longer they are being transported to you, due to the enzymes involved in the ripening process. Therefore, make sure that you are able to pick fresh produce either from your local grocer or even plant things yourself if you have the time and resources to do it.
2. Store your food properly
After picking up your fresh produce, make sure immediately consume them or store them properly in your refrigerator using air-tight containers. Cold temperatures of your refrigerator may help prolong the freshness of your fruits and vegetables, thus enabling them to contain the nutrients for longer. Be reminded to store your fruits and vegetables as is when not immediately consumed, as peeling or chopping them before storage may accelerate the ripening process and cause them to lose both moisture and nutrients.
3. Consider your cooking ways
There are lots of ways to prepare your food, from the healthiest option to not-so-healthy ones. When it comes to vegetables, you may want to handle them delicately as cooking them too long may diminish their nutrients. For example, some water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, B6, folate, and thiamine may decrease significantly as you heat them.
As for fish, poultry, and meat, there are loads of cooking methods you can opt for. Deep frying isn't exactly the method you want to choose when trying to preserve nutrients for your well-being. However, you can always grill, roast, steam, or stir-fry your protein of choice to get the maximum amount of nutrients while still enjoying your food.
4. Avoid reheating food too often
Like previously mentioned, heat may diminish nutrients in various vegetables, especially those containing water-soluble vitamins. While fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), fiber and minerals are mainly unaffected by heating, you still shouldn't cook too long or reheat your food too often.
Other nutrients that may be affected by cooking includes antioxidants and enzymes. Antioxidants, which protects the body from free radicals, are naturally present in the phytochemicals found in green vegetables like kale, broccoli and cabbage. Research have shown that reheating foods that contain these nutrients may slightly weaken their potency. However, you can always consume supplements to replace some of the nutrients lost from cooking. One of the prime examples would be Relief Sari Kulit Manggis from Herbana. Its antioxidant content may help aid the body in strengthening immunity, as well as offering protection from possible illnesses caused by viruses and bacteria.
5. Keep skins on when consuming fruits, if possible
Lastly, you may want to pay attention to the skin whenever you are eating fruits. Most of the time, vitamins and minerals are highly concentrated within that area, which is why peeling the skin when you consume fruits that can be eaten with skin may greatly reduce the nutrient you obtain. It is also wise to not rely on juicing all the time, as it can leave behind a lot of byproduct and nutrient content.