How Prepping Food Impacts Nutrients


Homemade Canned Vegetables

After a brutal day at work, you arrive home famished. Before you begin your daily household chores, you desperately desire a healthy snack. While devouring a delicious can of mandarin oranges, you assume you’re getting a sizable dose of health benefiting vitamin C. If you can relate to this situation, you might be surprised to learn how drastically prepping food adversely affects its nutrients. The following, five processes can negatively alter the nutritional value of the foods you eat. 

Blanching 

Before some of your favorite foods at the supermarket can be canned or frozen, they typically undergo the process known as blanching. Blanching rapidly heats foods such as English peas, lima beans, or corn with water or steam. Unfortunately, blanching can easily damage water-soluble nutrients such as vitamin C and the B vitamins.

Pasteurization 

Are you a milk or fruit juice addict? These popular beverages are heated to an exact temperature to annihilate certain microorganisms. This heating process is referred to as pasteurization. While the nutritional value of milk is unaffected by pasteurization, the concentration of vitamin C in fruit juices is negatively affected.

Canning 

Before green beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, field peas, and other foods are delivered to supermarkets in shiny, colorful cans, they undergo a heating process. This heating process occurs inside of the can in order to both kill microorganisms and extend the canned item’s shelf life. Because canned foods are often heated at extreme temperatures, the taste and texture of them are sometimes compromised. A food’s concentration of water-soluble vitamins also diminishes during the canning process.

Store Foods Correctly for Maximum Nutritional Value

To retain the maximum nutritional value possible of the foods you prepare, you should always store your foods correctly. For instance, cold foods should always stay chilled. To preserve their freshness, some foods should be placed in airtight, storage containers. Place colorful, nutritious vegetables in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator.

Prepare foods quickly. When boiling vegetables, keep the water you boil them in. You can utilize this nutrient rich water for soup stock later. By understanding how processing foods affects their nutritional value, you can make healthier purchases at the supermarket and smarter, food preparation decisions at home.

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