Moist heat cooking methods, such as boiling and steaming, are the healthiest ways to prepare meat and agricultural products because they are cooked at lower temperatures. Nuclear microwave cooking methods may be the healthiest way to cook because of their short cooking times, minimizing the destruction of nutrients. Microwaves cook food by heating it from the inside out. They emit radio waves that “excite food molecules, generating heat and cooking food”.
While cooking in the microwave can sometimes cause food to dry out, this can easily be avoided by splashing some water before heating it or by placing a damp paper towel over the plate. The way microwaves cook food eliminates the need to add additional oils. The best part is that you can microwave just about anything, from vegetables and rice to meat and eggs. And studies suggest that it may be one of the best ways to preserve the nutrients in vegetables; for example, microwaving broccoli is the best way to preserve its vitamin C.
Just make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl. You may have heard that cooking destroys nutrients and that raw foods are the best. Cooking destroys some nutrients, but allows others to be more easily absorbed. In other words, depending on the vegetable, some cooking methods lower antioxidant levels while others increase them.
During any cooking method, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) tend to hold up better than water-soluble vitamins (C and some B vitamins), while minerals are practically unaffected. Not all cooking methods have the same effects on all foods, and choosing a healthy cooking method involves much more. . However, while some raw products can be very healthy, studies have shown that cooking them can amplify certain nutrients, such as the lycopene in tomatoes and the antioxidants in carotenoids, such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and peppers.
If the carcinogen-fighting glucosinolates in broccoli are important to you, some research suggests that steaming may be the best way to cook green trees. They analyzed 20 different vegetables, six different cooking methods, and then analyzed three different measures of antioxidant activity. Read on to learn about some of the best and most effective cooking methods out there, and the nutritional benefits (or drawbacks) associated with each of them. It takes a little longer (which some experts believe may decrease nutrient retention), but it's a great way to gently cook delicate foods such as fish, eggs, or fruit.
Basically, poaching means cooking the food given in a small amount of hot water (just below the boiling point). For example, in another study published in the Journal of Food Science, researchers discovered that broccoli retained 90% of its vitamin C content when prepared in a pressure cooker. On the one hand, since the diet is mainly plant-based, you end up eating more vitamins, minerals and fiber, without added sugars or fats when cooking. Microwave ovens are often used to reheat leftovers, but microwaving is also a good way to cook some vegetables.
Frying in a pan is similar to frying, since food is cooked in hot oil, but less oil is used in the pan. You can cook a wide variety of foods on the grill, such as fish, meat, vegetables, potatoes and some fruits. Grilling is a great way to cook tender cuts of meat (remember to remove excess fat before cooking), but it may not be ideal for cooking vegetables, as they can be easily dried. Gomer shares that using an instant cooker for pressure cooking can be one of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare food.