Let’s find out how different cooking methods affect your vegetables’nutrient levels. A recent Brazilian review have found out that steaming vegetables boost their nutritional value.
The researchers analyzed 21 studies that studied how different cooking methods affected the vegetables’ levels of antioxidants, cardiovascular disease, compounds that may fend off cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.
Most cooking methods such as boiling, microwaving and baking can break down vegetables’ tissues, therefore destroying some antioxidants. Also, boiling can reduce even more antioxidants, due to some of the disease-fighting compounds, that may dissolve in hot water.
How Steaming Boost the Nutritional Value of Vegetables
Every vegetable differs on how it reacts to each cooking method. The study found that on average, boiling reduced the vegetables’ levels of polyphenols, which is a type of antioxidant, by at least 38%.
Steaming, on the other hand, increased polyphenol content by 52%. It tends to increase polyphenol levels because the vegetables are not submerged in water and the heating process is gentler.
The gentle heat releases some polyphenols from bonds that can help preven the body from being able to digest this, if the vegetables are eaten raw.
This does not mean that roasted or microwaved broccoli is bad for you, it just might have fewer antioxidants than the steamed one. But no matter how you cook your vegetable, just remember not to overdo it.
Cooking vegetables for too long and at high temperatures tends to destroy more antioxidants, as per the study. Remove them from heat, if they are crisp-tender. You should be able to pierce them using a fork, but they should not fall apart when you do it.