Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Making Veggies Their Healthiest

I've been reading the December issue of Prevention, and one of the articles was about how you should prepare several different vegetables for maximum health benefits. Lots of vegetables help fight off bad health issues, including cancer, but to get the most nutrition and disease-fighting out of them, it's important to know how you should prepare them. Raw isn't always the best option. Some examples:

Broccoli -- steam it. This helps the broccoli retain nearly 70% of its Vitamin C and nearly all of its kaempferol, a beneficial flavonoid. Broccoli is also high in beta-carotene, lutein and flavonols -- all potential cancer-fighting agents. We eat a lot of steamed broccoli at our house.

Carrots -- boil until tender. My husband eats a lot of raw carrots as snacks, but I'm going to start boiling some too to go with our steamed broccoli. We've all heard carrots are good for our eyesight; that's because of the carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which also may help reduce your risk of heart attack and some cancers. Boiling helps keep the carotenoids 14% more concentrated.

Tomatoes -- roast with olive oil. Roasting tomatoes causes their cell walls to burst, which releases more of the antioxidant lycopene. This is important because lycopene can help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

The article also covers how to prepare garlic cloves, root vegetables, brussels sprouts, asparagus, beets, and onions. It compares how each vegetable benefits us raw versus cooked in specific ways.

Here are a couple of online articles on the topic:

http://healthmad.com/nutrition/should-you-choose-raw-or-cooked-vegetables-for-maximum-health/

http://balancing-meals.suite101.com/article.cfm/cook_green_vegs_the_right_way_for_maximum_health

DON'T FORGET -- The season finale and revelation of the winner of The Biggest Loser is tonight!

7 comments:

Michelle Butler on December 8, 2009 at 9:15 AM said...

How interesting. I've always assumed that veggies were healthiest uncooked.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on December 8, 2009 at 9:40 AM said...

I think most people believe that, Michelle. I always thought raw or steamed, but evidently there are nutrients "trapped" in ways that can only be released if heat is applied in certain ways.

Michelle Butler on December 8, 2009 at 10:46 AM said...

Who do you think will win the biggest loser tonight? Who do you want to win??

Gail Fuller on December 8, 2009 at 11:31 AM said...

Thanks, Trish! Like Michelle, I believed vegetables were best uncooked.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on December 8, 2009 at 12:35 PM said...

I like everyone who is left, but I think the odds would be that one of the guys would win. Just based on the home results they showcased last week, I'd say odds are in Danny's favor, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to watching.

World Vitamins Online on December 8, 2009 at 4:07 PM said...

Along with the benefits to eye health that lutein is known to provide new research has shown another benefit. A study recently completed at Harvard by Dr. Salvador Gonsalez concludes that it can protect us from UVB light. This is the type of light which causes sunburn and skin cancer.

Tawny on December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM said...

Wow, this is great to know, Trish. I love my broccoli steamed but always thought I was cooking away the benefits. YUM

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