Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vegetables – The Nutritional Powerhouse

Vegetables to safeguard against cancers and  bone problems
Vegetables are the main source of good quality food like vitamins, minerals, fibre, proteins, and carbohydrates. Many vegetables can be eaten raw. They can be consumed in different ways, such as a part of main meals or as snacks. Despite all the vegetables contain slight proportion of protein or fat, and fluctuating proportions of vitamins, dietary minerals, fibres, and carbohydrates, the nutritional content of vegetables differs significantly.
Daily diet should consist of adequate quantities of fruits and vegetables as they help prevent the danger of heart diseases and diabetes. They even safeguard us against different cancers and bone-related problems. One of the minerals, potassium is found in the fruits and the vegetables—surely assists us by avoiding the risk of the stones formation in the kidney.
Healthier Ways of Cooking Vegetables:

  • Buy fresh, tender vegetables and cook them as soon as possible. Do not overstock your fridge.
  • Wash the vegetables in running water properly before cutting them.
  • Vegetables used in salads should be soaked in salted water for an hour and then washed in drinking water, before they are cut and consumed. This will neutralize the pesticides used in farming.
  • Cut vegetables just before consuming them. Do not cut and store in the refrigerator, or buy pre-cut vegetables from the supermarket.
  • The water in which vegetables are boiled should not be discarded as it contains the essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Always cover the vessel with a lid while cooking. This will reduce the loss of vitamins due to evaporation.
  • Do not overheat the oil to smoking point before adding the vegetables, as this destroys their inherent nutrients.
  • Cook in minimum water. Adding excess water and then cooking with the pan uncovered until water evaporates, destroys all the vitamins.
  • Vegetables provide us adequate nutrients and the fibre
  • Do not overcook the vegetables.
  • When cooking green vegetables, add them to the cooking pan at the end, and add vegetables that take longer to cook, such as potatoes, in the beginning. After adding the green vegetable, stir for a few seconds and turn off the flame. This preserves the vitamins and enhances the green color and taste.
  • Add salt at the end to gain more chances of preserving vitamins in the vegetables. In the Western countries, meals are preceded by soups. They are easy to cook and easy to digest. Soups are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They cause no strain on digestion.
  • Carrot is the king of raw vegetables, containing the two most important antioxidants: vitamin A and C. Two or three medium-sized carrots meet our daily requirement of vitamin A.

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