Microwaving Does Not Zap Vegetables’ Nutritional Value


It is a common misconception that microwaving vegetables can reduce their nutritional value. Dr. Mike Roussell cleared up the dietary myth, and confirmed that microwaving can actually make vegetables more nutritious. Cooking a vegetable in the microwave has the same effect as heating it in a pan, without using the stove or creating a mess. While some water soluble vitamins, like Vitamin B, are lost in any cooking method, especially for green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, the amount lost depends on how long and how vigorously the food is cooked. The less time the vegetable is cooked, the more nutrients it retains. Boiling is the cooking method known to suck out the most nutrients, while sautéing or microwaving allows the vegetables to retain more vitamins.

In addition, cooking certain foods can actually make certain nutrients more available to the body for absorption, especially antioxidants like lycopene. The University of Oslo conducted research showing that vegetables including carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, green and red peppers, and tomatoes all experience an increase in antioxidant content when cooked. Dr. Roussell recommends incorporating the best of both worlds into your diet. Eat some vegetables uncooked, to gain their maximum vitamin content. Then also enjoy steamed or sautéed vegetables as part of your diet. Just be sure not to use too much water, and risk nutrient loss through boiling, and do not overcook vegetables to let them retain the most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants possible.

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