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Easy cooking tips to boost your nutritional benefits

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Eats_StirFry_MaximizeNutrientAbsorptionFor years, mom told you to eat your vegetables. But this tried-and-true parental maxim doesn’t exactly tell the whole story when it comes to produce. It’s not just the amount of fruits and veggies you eat but also the way you prepare them that affects the nutritional benefits you receive.

Here are a few tips to help maximize your nutrient intake:

Watch the heat

Excessive heat is the No. 1 way to kill the nutrients found in your carefully plucked produce. Up to 30% of vitamins can be destroyed due to high heat, and boiling is an absolute death sentence, destroying an additional 20% of vitamins. We recommend sautéing or steaming veggies to preserve their nutrients, which keeps ‘em nice and crunchy, too.

Add some fat

Fat-haters, take note: Adding a little fat to your meal can actually help your body absorb the nutrients found in many vegetables, including tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Extra virgin olive oil is an easy, healthy option for all types of dishes, from salads to stir-fries. You’ll just need a splash to help your body make the most of the antioxidants found in your favorite produce.

Fresh vs. frozen

There’s nothing better than a just-picked apple straight from the tree. But for most of us, this is far from a realistic option. Shop farmers markets when possible to get the freshest, most nutritious fruits and veggies available. And for all those other times of year, consider buying frozen. Commercially raised produce is usually picked before nutrients fully mature, and nutrients are depleted further due to transport times, air exposure, heat and handling.

Frozen produce presents a great alternative, with a flash-freezing process that preserves nutrients. So put your skepticism aside and pick up a bag of frozen fruit for your next smoothie — you’ll get all of the vitamins and no chance of spoilage.

Keep the skins

Easily boost your nutrient intake next time you make potatoes by leaving the skins on. Whether you’re baking, roasting or mashing them, potatoes hold high levels of fiber, potassium and vitamin C in their skins. Just be sure to scrub them thoroughly before cooking to get rid of any excess dirt or bacteria.

 

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