Basic Food Prep Can Impact Nutrient Value

Peels of Potato, Cucumber and Carrot Skins

How you prepare you food will have a direct impact on its nutrient value. One of the biggest mistakes many people make when preparing fruits and vegetables is removing the peel. The peels of apples, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, carrots and pears contain a vast amount of nutrients that are lost once they are peeled.

When you are putting food in storage, how you prep it will make the difference on how many of its nutrients actually remain. Steaming foods seems to be the most beneficial preparation method because the fruits and vegetables are not immersed in water. Vegetables remain firm on the outside and become softer in the middle. Microwaving is also beneficial in some aspects. It requires less water which results in the food retaining more Vitamin C.

Dehydrating is another good way to preserve food. It requires little prep and nutrients in the food are often concentrated instead of lost. Although dehydration can deplete Vitamin C, it actually makes the food more nutrient rich because all of the remaining nutrients are concentrated in a much smaller area.

Freezing foods allows them to keep their nutrients without depleting them. Flash freezing allows for the best nutrient retention. Most nutrients are lost when the food is thawed out and certain cooking methods are used.

Foods that are canned lose the majority of their nutrients simply because of the high temperatures used in the processing. While some of the nutrients are lost prior to being exposed to the heat, what nutrients that are left are often lost during processing and as the food is being prepared for use.

Simple steps can be taken to prevent nutrient loss, but using methods that include high temperatures and boiling can defeat the purpose.


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