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Girl and Grandfather GrillingThe nutrition of your prepared meals doesn’t rely solely on the ingredients you use. The way you cook your food can either boost ingredients’ nutritional value or deplete it. In some cases, heat can break down up to 20 percent of vitamins and other nutrients. In others, heat releases antioxidants and makes them easier for the body to absorb (this applies primarily to carrots, spinach and tomatoes). Let’s take a look at some of the most common cooking methods and how they affect your meals.

Grilling

Many people enjoy backyard BBQs and summer cookouts. While grilling requires minimal added fats, such as oil, the high heat can cause a chemical reaction in meats. This reaction creates toxins that can cause nutrient imbalances and inflammation in the body. Grilling is great for special occasions and summertime, but try not to make it a regular habit if you wish to be a health-conscious eater.

Boiling

Boiling is a quick and easy cooking method, but the high heat and large volume of water can dissolve the majority of water-soluble nutrients. However, boiling actually preserves nutrients in some foods, such as broccoli, carrots and zucchini. Depending on what you’re cooking, boiling may be a fast and healthy solution.

Steaming

The wonderful thing about steaming is that your food cooks in its own juices, allowing it to hold on to most of its natural nutrients. In fact, steaming may be the best way to cook some foods, such as broccoli and many other meats, fishes and veggies.

Microwaving

There is a lot of conflicting research when it comes to the way microwaving affects food’s nutrition. Some researchers say that microwaves zap the nutrition out of food, while others say that the short cooking times reduces the destruction of nutrients. Until a definitive answer is found, it’s likely safe to use a microwave, at the very least, when you’re pressed for time. Plus, you won’t need to add any additional oil like you do with stir frying or searing.

Start your journey to better health. Call Allen Harmon Insurance at (269) 441-5164 for more information on Battle Creek health insurance.

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