Think a raw-veggie diet is the best way to go for optimal nutrition? Think again. Cooking vegetables helps to soften their tough fibrous exteriors and loosen up all the nutritional good stuff that lies inside. In fact, some vegetables, such as tomatoes, are actually more healthful if you eat them cooked, because the process of cooking them boosts their levels of the potent antioxidant lycopene. The only problem is, not all cooking methods are the same. Some boost nutrient content; some take it away. Some add unwanted fat, while others add the crucial amount for your body to absorb all the nutrients in vegetables.
Here’s what you need to know about cooking your veggies for optimum nutrition:
When in doubt, microwave your veggies for maximum antioxidant preservation. According to a Spanish study of how various cooking methods impact vegetable antioxidant capacity, microwaves reign supreme in prepping vegetables to retain their nutrients. Exception: Keep cauliflower out of the microwave; it loses more than 50 percent of its antioxidants if nuked.