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Whether you’re in the produce section at the grocery store or have a fridge full of veggies, figuring out the best way to cook them so that they don’t lose their nutrients can be intimidating. But before getting overwhelmed, we recommend asking yourself a simple question: Which vegetables do you have or enjoy eating?
From there, determining what to do with your veggies can be based on preference and time. We recommend eating your veggies in one of the following three ways to maximize nutrition content.
Retaining a vegetable’s vitamins and minerals through the cooking process is simpler than it may seem. The key is steaming. Because you don’t submerge vegetables under water when steaming them, they are more likely to retain those ever-important vitamins and minerals. Steaming vegetables can also make them easier to digest.
Tip: Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and spinach are great veggies to steam. Some of these veggies can be difficult to digest when eaten raw because of their high fiber content.
For certain vegetables, such as mushrooms, boiling can bring out valuable benefits. Boiled mushrooms contain a significant amount of potassium, which is great for optimal muscle function. Tomatoes are another example. When you eat cooked tomatoes, your body is able to absorb more of their lycopene, which fights cancer.
Tip: If you prefer your veggies to have a crunch but still want to cook them, blanch them by bringing your water to a full boil, tossing the veggies in, and cooking them very quickly.
When eating raw veggies, a good rule to remember is to eat color. Bell peppers and carrots are some of the best vegetables to eat raw. For some of these veggies, such as bell peppers, they actually lose some of their nutrition when they are cooked.
Tip: Some raw veggies can be hard to digest. If you aren’t used to eating raw vegetables, slowly add them to your diet to avoid potential digestive trouble.
This post was originally featured at Foodstirs.