With all the sessions on GOQii Play and interactions within the app, most of us have understood “what to eat” in order to get the necessary nutrition for our body. But, have you ever wondered “how to eat”? Sounds silly? But it is not. It’s a valid question. The way we eat says a lot about how the nutrients will be best available to our body. However, it could get tricky here. While some vitamins can be destroyed during the cooking process, a little bit of heating enhances the absorption of certain nutrients.
12 Foods You’ve Been Consuming The Wrong Way
You must have also heard your coach or diet expert say that eating foods in certain combinations enhances the absorption of various nutrients. To help you out, we’ve made a list of proper ways to consume these top 12 foods and beverages!
1. Tomatoes: Cooking tomatoes makes them more nutritious and the longer you cook them, the better it is. Heat changes the “lycopene” present in them to a form our bodies can readily absorb. So you can either soup it up or cook tomatoes into pasta sauce and omelettes to benefit from its antioxidant, cancer fighting, bad cholesterol lowering properties in a full blown way.
2. Boiling Vegetables: Boiling vegetables is a no-no because water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C leach out and drain into the water. Moreover, it reduces the antioxidant content. This phenomenon is especially noticeable in Spinach. Of course, if you are going to consume the liquid when making soups, it’s a different thing. Steaming, roasting, sautéing methods of cooking result in more nutritious vegetables on your plate.
3. Going Absolutely FAT-FREE with Vegetable Juices/Salads: You can absorb more nutrients from your salads/green juices when you consume them with a wee-bit of fat because most nutrients in them are fat-soluble (Vitamin A, D, E, K). But, the type of fat can make a difference. For salads skip the mayo and instead, add cold pressed coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, egg yolks, nuts and seeds. For green juices, add a teaspoon of coconut oil for enhanced absorption.
4. Garlic: Unlike Vitamin C, Allicin is an enzyme found in garlic that benefits from exposure to air. If you mince it and quickly throw it in a pan, you are doing it wrong! This enzyme is not activated unless the cell walls are ruptured. Crush/Press those garlic pods instead of mincing. Let it sit for 10 minutes before exposing it to heat so that your finished dish contains maximum amount. With activated Allicin, you get to benefit from its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal , anti-viral , anti-bacterial and cholesterol lowering properties.
5. Whole Grains, Beans & Pulses: Have you ever noticed how cloudy and dull the water gets once you soak your grains, beans or pulses in it? Well, it’s because of the presence of Phytates – the compound that binds the vitamins/minerals in the food and prevents them from being absorbed by the body. Soaking them overnight releases the phytates and you get the maximum amount of iron and zinc. Not only that! Soaking them overnight in warm water and then cold for 24 hours followed by cooking them negates the effect of gas formation. So you don’t end up feeling “gassy”.
6. Flaxseeds: If you have been sprinkling a spoonful of these into your morning smoothie or onto your yogurt snack, you have been doing it wrong! Our bodies are not capable of digesting “whole” flaxseeds and excrete them as it is. In order to reap benefits from these pods, chew them properly. You can either consume them raw or immediately after slightly roasting them. Even flaxseed meal (powdered) works, but make sure its consumption is immediate.
7. Yogurt : There are 2 points to consider:
i. If you have been draining away the watery fluid floating atop your yogurt, you’re actually draining away all your whey protein. Apart form Whey, it also contains Vitamin B12, Calcium and Phosphorus. Give your yogurt a quick stir to retain all its benefits .
ii. If you think you are going to get “probiotic” benefits out of yogurt by cooking a hot dish that involves yogurt based gravy or marination, you’re not going to. Most live/active cultures (the “healthy bacteria” in them) can’t stand heat and will be destroyed in the cooking process. While you will be getting the Protein, Calcium and Vitamin D, “probiotic” benefit is something that will be missed out .
8. Carrots: Cook, then cut. Cooking whole carrots and cutting them after they are cooked keeps more nutrients intact. Carrot is one vegetable (tomato is a fruit) that is better if cooked as heat breaks down its cell walls.
9. Broccoli: If you have been boiling, frying, overcooking or even over-steaming broccoli florets, then we have some bad news for you. Too much cooking destroys the enzyme that turns a chemical called glucosinolates into cancer fighting agents. Even if you are steaming them, make sure you do it only for 2-3 minutes.
10. Strawberries: Just 1 serving of these berries takes care of half of your daily Vitamin C requirement. However, if you have been cutting your berries prior to eating them, you’re missing out on your Vitamin C. The vitamins in strawberries begin to breakdown when exposed to light and oxygen (unlike Allicin). So eat them whole and if you want to store them, deep freeze! Cool temperatures help them retain their Vitamin C.
11. Citrus Fruits: Do you throw away the lemon or orange peels? These citrus peels contain 4 times more fibre and disease fighting flavonoids than the fruit itself. If you’re thinking how you can consume the peels, here’s what you do:
- Grate peels just like you do with cheese and store in the freezer. Use them for recipes that call for lemon ‘zest’.
- Add peels to a pitcher of water for an effective detox.
- Marinate your meats, cottage cheese, fish with your own citrus rub.
12. Tea: Now, we have been drinking tea more than ever. Do you enjoy your tea with milk? There’s a downside to this. Milk proteins bind with Catechin in tea, making it difficult for your body to absorb this beneficial compound. So, tea no longer turns out to be a heart healthy drink. Plus, the excess amount of sugar which some people add only makes things worse. So just sip on some nice black or herbal tea without adding anything to it!
We hope these tips help you extract the most amount of vitamins and minerals from your food. Which one of these facts left you surprised? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
To understand more about these foods and to get proper nutritional advice, speak to a GOQii Coach by subscribing to Personalised Health Coaching here.
Find more articles on nutrition here.