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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Maximize The Nutrient Content Of Your Food With These Tips!

 Maximize The Nutrient Content Of Your Food!

These photographs and words are part of an interesting article I read on 'Food Matters' recently. I share some of it here with you, but please read more of the original article in the link I've given below.

"Now we all know the benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables. We all know we should consume more of fresh fruits, fresh greens, salads, steamed and grilled vegetables. That we should use vegetables and vegetable-based dishes as snacks, and learn how to sneak more vegetables into our daily menu. Sometimes it seems overwhelming though! How much plants should we eat daily to get all the nutrients our body needs?! We don’t have that much time to sit and chew all that food, let alone shop, store, and prepare it all!

We all, of course, do our best to make sure we consume our plants for better health daily. We care about our health, we care about the health of our loved ones.

But did you know that with all this effort you put into cooking good quality meals and consuming your daily portions of fruits, vegetables and other plants you might be wasting up to 90% of your efforts!

How do you get the most nutrients out of your food? If you don’t know how to choose the best, most nutritious produce, how to store it and prepare properly, you might be wasting some of your efforts and time!
Read on to find out how to get the maximum out of the plants you eat! Vitamins and minerals be wasted no more!

Green And Salads:
Choose the most colourful greens for your salads and other dishes. Red, purple, brown-red, dark green are amazing choices. Forget your Iceberg lettuce! It’s almost empty when it comes to nutrients! Go for dark green, super-nutritious varieties: arugula, radicchio, endive, spinach and others. The fresher – the better. Whole leaves are always fresher than cut mixed greens in the bags.

To keep your greens fresher and more nutritious for longer: steep them in cold water for 10 minutes or so, dry well, store in the fridge crisper drawer in perforated sealed bags ( or simply seal a plastic bag with your greens and make 10-20 tiny holes with a fork).

Never eat your salads without some good quality fat like olive oil or avocados. Some vitamins are fat-soluble ONLY and won’t be absorbed by your body, unless you consume some fat along with them. Use unfiltered extra virgin olive oil for maximum nutrition, antioxidant content.

Garlic And Onions:
Garlic is rich in nutrients and has numerous health benefits. To get most out of it - mince the garlic, press it and let it sit for about 10 minutes before exposing it to the heat. If you don’t do that and expose garlic to the heat, you’ll lose close to 100% of its health and nutrition value. 

The stronger your onions taste – the better they are for you. Sweet onions have little nutrition value and might have as much sugar as apples! The smaller the onions are - the most nutrients they have. Shallots are more nutritious.

Scallions (spring onions)are the most nutritious of all onions. If you can find them – eat them! Cooking your onions (except boiling) increases their nutrition value. Boiling reduces nutrition profile of most vegetables,because water-soluble vitamins and minerals leak in the water and stay there.
Unless you plan to consume the water – avoid boiling your veggies! Steam them, grill them, stir-fry.

Carrots:
Get the most out of carrots: choose whole fresh carrots (better with the tops – they are the freshest), cooked carrots are more nutritious. Cook carrots whole and cut them after cooking to save the most nutrients. Eat your carrots with some kind of fat to absorb the most nutrients. Purple and deep orange carrots are the most nutritious.



Tomatoes:
Deep red tomatoes have more nutrients than green, yellow or gold. Go for red tomatoes for nutrition, and green, yellow and gold for different tastes. As a rule, the smaller the tomato, the higher its sugar and lycopene content.
The heat involved in cooking increases the bioavailability of lycopene in tomato, making it easy for your body to absorb.
Store tomatoes at room temperature and NEVER in the fridge to preserve their flavour and aroma!

Cruciferous Vegetables:
Once harvested broccoli loses its sugar and nutrient content very rapidly. Choose the freshest possible. Whole heads stay fresher longer. Store them chilled at the crisper drawer of your fridge in a perforated sealed plastic bag.
Eat them raw or slightly steamed (up to 5 minutes) as soon as possible to get the most nutrients.

Brussels sprouts don’t stay fresh long either. Store them chilled at the crisper drawer in a perforated plastic bag. Steam them for 5-8 minutes to get the most taste and nutrition.

Cabbages can be stored in your fridge for longer as a whole. 

Red cabbage is the most nutritious. Cut your cabbage and steam briefly for the best taste and nutrient value.

Cauliflower needs to be consumed as fresh as possible. White cauliflower has the most anti-cancerous properties, while green and purple ones have more antioxidants. Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

Steam your cauliflower rather than boil for the most nutrition.

Kale is the most bitter and nutritious of all crucifers. Store it in the crisper drawer and use within a few days. It’s the most nutritious when it’s massaged with oil and eaten raw, or gently steamed.

Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados:
Buy the freshest artichokes possible. They lose their nutrition value fast. Store them chilled. Steaming is the best. Eat within days. 

Asparagus doesn’t last long either. Choose the freshest. Consume within a day or two by eating it raw or steaming slightly.

Avocados are really rich in soluble fiber and “good” fats. Choose the right avocados for the most nutrition: soft at the stem having just a slight “give” in the middle. 

Store ripe avocados in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Cut avocados will stay fresh for 2 days, if you leave the stone in, drizzle them with lime or lemon juice and wrap them up. Keep them in the fridge."


Hope you found this article interesting, please read more here 

All the best Jan

10 comments:

Jo said...

I've learnt lots from this article. Glad to see that I store my tomatoes correctly though, I never put them in the fridge, I leave them on the worktop so that I can pop one straight in my mouth as I pass.

Lowcarb team member said...

Glad you found this interesting Jo.
I must admit many many years ago I used to keep my tomatoes in the fridge !!!
They are now always on the side, so much better, and as you say handy for a quick bite to eat!

Hope your week is going well.

All the best Jan

Cheryl said...

A post packed with interesting information.
There are some things there I didn't know....I am always happy to learn.

Not really a tip but one thing I do, when preparing vegetables for a meal, I eat the stalks of broccoli, cauliflower etc. I can remember doing this as a child while my mother was preparing our evening meal. I do it automatically......it all adds to the five a day :)))

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your comments Cheryl.
I'm so with you on also using / eating the stalks of broccoli and cauliflower. It cuts down on waste too!

Have a pleasant evening ... I must go and prepare our evening meal, leeks are waiting on the side in the kitchen, to be made into cheesy ones to accompany the buttery mashed swede and home made burgers, should be good and I'm getting hungry!

All the best Jan

Gail said...

I am not much of a fruit eater but I love vegetables.

Thanks, Jan, for coming by to visit.

Have a blessing evening.

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for your comment Gail.
Vegetables are great aren't they, and so much variety.

Always pleased to visit your blog - enjoy your week.

All the best Jan

DeniseinVA said...

Great information Jan, thank you :)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a great article; a wealth of information. Some of these things I knew and some I didn't. You truly learn something new every day. I love fruits and vegetables, especially when they are really fresh.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your comment Denise.
I think it's always good to read and share articles such as this one.

Enjoy your day.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks very much for your comment here Martha.
You can't beat fresh vegetables and fruits, they contain some great nutrients, and of course it is important they are stored and cooked in the way that will preserve them ...

Happy Wednesday Wishes

All the best Jan