Foods and natural beverages all contain a wide range of essential nutrients our bodies require to function and flourish. Unfortunately, many of these nutrients are prone to degradation and loss during the preparation processes of the foods or drinks we intend to have. That denies us significant amounts of nutrients, which we would otherwise obtain from those foods for maximum nutritional value.
But fortunately, it’s possible to prevent the destruction and loss of nutrients when preparing foods or beverages we intend to consume. In this post, I’m going to show you how to prepare fresh fruit juices and smoothies, vegetables, as well as other foods without losing significant amounts of nutrients in the process. Ready for that? Fair enough, let’s get started with beverages:
Table of Contents
1. Fresh Juices and Smoothies
If you want to have a fruit drink or smoothie, which has all its nutrients intact, there are three things you need to do. First is to choose only fresh options when buying fruits or vegetables for your juice or smoothie. That’s because fruits and vegetables will diminish their nutritional value as they stay on the shelf waiting to be bought.
Speaking of fresh fruits and vegetables, Sun Basket and Hello Fresh are good places to source some. These meal delivery services go the extra mile to give you a recipe for making fresh fruit juice or smoothie. Take a moment to read this insightful post that compares and contrasts them. It offers lots of information about the two brands, including their meal varieties, dietary options, as well as packaging and delivery options.
Home Chef is also a great source for fresh fruits and vegetables besides Sun Basket and Hello. Matter of fact, it operates just in the same way as the meal delivery services above work.
The second thing is to use the right appliance in making your drink. Otherwise, using the wrong one can have a huge negative effect on the nutritional value that you’ll get from the drink.
It’s no secret that a juicer will lose some of the nutrients present in fruits or vegetables. It all has to do with the extraction process.
Using a blender is the best way to make your drinks without losing your nutrients. That’s because, unlike juicing, the blending process doesn’t extract nutrients and water from fruits and vegetables, omitting some of the nutrients in the process. Instead, it crushes them all together into a mixture with everything intact.
The third thing is to drink your juice or smoothie immediately after making it rather than setting it aside for later use. When you juice or blend the ingredients of your juice or smoothie, the nutrients they contain get crushed, becoming exposed to oxygen. This causes their structures to breakdown, leading to reduced nutritional values. The longer they remain exposed to oxygen, the more they diminish(even if stored in a refrigerator), paving the way for spoilage. To avoid that damage, it’s best to drink your juice or smoothie immediately after preparing it.
Vegetables are delicious and high in vitamins, which play some key roles in our bodies. They are healthy with some consumable even raw besides cooked. Nonetheless, there are several ways to cook them, including boiling, steaming, or dry-cooking e.g roasting, grilling, or stir-frying. Yet, how you cook your vegetables determines how much nutritional value you get.
Having said that, the best way to cook vegetables is to avoid boiling them and instead dry cook them. You see, a good number of nutrients present in vegetables including vitamins B6, B12, and C are water-soluble. By boiling your vegetables, a significant amount of these nutrients will dissolve in the water and disappear when the water dries out, leaving you with less nutritious food. With dry cooking, there’s no water to come into contact with your vegetables, dissolving away significant amounts of your nutrients.
3. Bakeable Foods
Many foods, including meats and wheat recipes, can be baked as one way of cooking them. Unfortunately, baking destroys nutrients, thanks to the heat, which breaks them down. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t bake food because there are a few ways in which the effects of the baking process on food can be minimized.
Besides heat, time and moisture are additional factors that influence nutrient stability. The more stable the nutrients are, the harder it is for them to break down and get destroyed.
Baking food for shorter periods has a smaller negative impact on nutrients compared to baking food for longer periods. As such, if you have to bake something, make sure to set your timer for a shorter duration. Similarly, applying some moisture to food before baking it can help preserve the nutrients up to some extent. Taking that into account, sprinkle your food with some water or even olive oil before placing it into the oven or microwave. Either way, keep the temperatures to medium or low levels. Also, remember to use aluminium foil in the baking process. That’s because this material will help prevent the loss of moisture from your food, preserving your nutrients to a larger extent.
Foods contain many different nutrients our bodies need to function and grow healthy. Unfortunately, significant quantities of these nutrients are lost during food preparation, resulting in foods with diminished nutritional qualities. But the good news is that, with the right knowledge, it’s easy to prepare your foods while retaining significant quantities of your nutrients. To make a fresh fruit juice or smoothie that retains its natural nutrients, follow the guide above. Likewise, do the same with vegetables as well as other foods that are of interest to you. Good luck with it.
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