Boiling, steaming can preserve and boost nutrients in vegetables

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Washington, Dec 31 (UNI) Boiled and steamed vegetables have higher nutritional value than the raw ones, a new research shows.

Defying earlier culinary thoughts, Italian reserachers carried out a study and found that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts, depending on the cooking method used.

The study noted that although many people maintain that eating raw vegetables is more nutritious than eating cooked ones, a small but growing number of studies suggest that cooking may actually increase the release of some nutrients.

However, scientists are seeking more complete data on the nutritional properties of cooked vegetables, the researchers say.

In the study, they evaluated the effects of three commonly-used Italian cooking practices - boiling, steaming, and frying - on the nutritional content of carrots, zucchini and broccoli.

They found boiling and steaming maintained the antioxidant compounds of the vegetables, whereas frying caused a significantly higher loss of antioxidants in comparison to the water-based cooking methods, the Science Daily reported.

For broccoli, steaming actually increased its content of glucosinolates, a group of plant compounds touted for their cancer-fighting abilities. The findings suggest that it may be possible to select a cooking method for each vegetable that can best preserve or improve its nutritional quality.


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