A balanced diet is one of the most important things when it comes to our health. Too many people forego looking into well thought out meal plans and just focus on exercise when they want to improve their health. But anyone who has even a basic understanding of how a human body works is going to tell you that what you eat is much more important than how much you exercise.
This is where vegetables come in. Eating vegetables is important; everyone knows that. What they do not know is that the way we eat those vegetables is equally important. There are so many ways in which a person can prepare their food but not all of them are made equal. You can eat them raw, steamed, and baked. Some vegetables can be fried as well.
Some scientists believe that cooking vegetables causes them to lose some of their nutritional value. This is true in some cases, but it is not exactly clear to what extent.
So, What Is the Best Way to Eat Vegetables
There is no short answer to this since this varies from vegetable to vegetable. A vegetable, as soon as it is off its stem, loses some nutrients. This is due to the fact that some of the nutrients are pulled from the plant they are on. As soon as they are cut off from the source the vegetable starts consuming its own nutrients to keep going until it shrivels down to an inedible and even unsafe mess.
One of the first nutrients to go is vitamin C. It is highly unstable in environments filled with oxygen. Even freezing or canning a vegetable that contains Vitamin C can accelerate the loss of the vitamin. Also, since vitamin C is water soluble, even cooking the vegetable causes it to lose its vitamin C reserves as they end up in the water they are being cooked in. According to some studies, anywhere from 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C is lost depending on the way the vegetable is cooked or processed.
So, does that mean raw is the way to go when vegetables are concerned? Not really. Take a carrot for example. Cooking the carrot increases the number of carotenoids compared to eating them in their raw form. Steaming them decreases the amounts of vitamin C and carotenoids but increases the amount of phenolic acid compared to the other methods. Interestingly enough, microwaving food preservers more vitamin C than any other method.
The best way to make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients is to be balanced. Like in most things in life, balance is the best way to go when it comes to eating vegetables. A combination of raw, cooked, and steamed vegetables is ideal. Frying vegetables, though, needs to be avoided whenever possible. However, even that is better than no vegetables at all. But all this comes down to personal preference. The most important thing is to eat vegetables. How you go about it is entirely up to you.