You’ve probably heard that some methods of cooking vegetables actually remove the nutrients, so you may not be getting as many benefits as you think you are.
So, this might lead you to believe that eating as many of your veggies raw is the solution.
Interestingly, that’s not always the case because cooking some of your vegetables also breaks down the cellular structure and outer layers, allowing your body to absorb more nutrients.
So what’s the answer?
In fact, it’s recommended that you opt for steaming over boiling because it takes less time, lower temperatures and less liquid to cook your favourite veggies.
A study in 2009 involved cooking broccoli by boiling, steaming, microwaving, stir-frying and stir-frying/boiling. The results showed that steaming maintained the highest nutritional value.
What’s the difference between boiling and steaming?
While both use water as a cooking mechanism, you’re entirely submerging your veg into the water when boiling. Whereas with steaming, the vegetables are placed above the water, allowing the steam produced to cook them gently.
What are the disadvantages of boiling food?
The main disadvantage of boiling your vegetables is that some, like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, peas, beans and kale, hold water-soluble vitamins, which dissolve in water. So you’ll be chucking out loads of vitamins with the water once these are cooked.
If you notice that the boiling water changes colour as you cook, that’s the vitamins coming out of your veg.
Is steaming the healthiest way to cook?
Because of the reduced cooking time and temperature compared to other cooking methods, steaming is considered one of the best ways to lock in nutrients.
One of the other healthiest ways to cook is, surprisingly, microwaving.
Is steamed food good for weight loss?
We want to encourage people to make healthier choices as part of a long-term lifestyle change; however, if you are looking for ways to lose weight, steaming is a fantastic option because this method doesn’t use any oil or butter.
How to enjoy more steamed foods
Steaming locks in flavour as well as preserves nutrients. And it’s not just vegetables. You can also steam chicken breasts, shellfish and fish fillets without drying them out, helping you make healthier choices all round.
Some steamers make cooking even less of a hassle, as they come with an auto-shutoff mechanism if the water level gets too low, allows you to add in extra water without any faff and even keeps the food warm until you’re ready to plate up.
When trying to improve your lifestyle, it’s worth considering the way you’re cooking your food so that you gain as many benefits from your hard work and effort as possible.