Eating fruits and vegetables the right way will keep you healthy. If you’re trying to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet, make sure you get the most out of them.
How they’re prepared can make a big difference in the nutritional punch they pack. Actually, raw or cooked is the question. The right type of heat can bring out the nutrients in some, but mess up others.
How you cook matters. For example, when you boil vegetables, both the water and high heat can drain some nutrients. But stir-frying or sauteed can preserve more of those. And a quick zap in the microwave lets the veggie hold on to even more vitamins.
Find out which method gives you the greatest benefits.
Eating: Raw Garlic
This is one powerful plant. It’s rich in selenium, an antioxidant that may help control high blood pressure and possibly lower your chances of some cancers. You can mix it into veggie stir-fries, casseroles, or tomato sauce for pasta, but you’ll get more nutrients if you eat it raw or add it just before the dish is finished cooking.
This is a healthy snack that’s rich in fiber, low in fat and calories, and packed with vitamins. Some types may even make you less likely to get type 2 diabetes. The best choices are blueberries, grapes, and apples. But the same can’t be said for fruit juice from the grocery store. It lacks the fiber of whole fruit and has a lot of added sugar.
Eating: Hot Tomato Sauce
Pasta tossed with rich tomato sauce is an easy classic that’s good and good for you. Cooking fresh, diced tomatoes helps your body take in and use lycopene, a natural chemical that may make you less likely to have heart disease and some types of cancer.
Eating: Steaming Is Preferred
This can be a good way to keep the nutrients in fresh produce without adding any fat from oil or butter. And as a bonus, you can enjoy the steaming liquid as a veggie broth that’s full of all the nutrients from the veggies you cooked. But don’t steam’s certain veggies, like kale, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts as the intense heat can destroy some nutrients. You might use these in a crunchy, healthy salad instead.