The best way to cook

The best way to cook

cooking Concerns

The best way to cook

Most people talk about how the Indian style of cooking goes overboard and vegetables are overcooked, which is unhealthy. People — whether figure-conscious or not — often opt for salads to avoid cooked vegetables.

Metrolife talks to nutritionists and a few health-conscious people, in the City, to find out whether this is the best option.

Green leafy vegetables and fruits that are high in Vitamin C should not be overcooked as this causes their nutrients to break down. “While preparing such items, the best thing is to boil them in water to make them crisp — this will also retain the nutrient content,” says Dr Shalini, a nutritionist with Fortis.

She adds, “One of the vegetables which should be cooked are tomatoes. Tomatoes contain phyto-chemicals and lycopene that should be cooked to enhance the value of the nutrients.”

Not everyone agrees with the current trend of going raw. “Not all fruits and vegetables are digested and absorbed in the same way. Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radish, turnip and brussels sprouts are goitrogenic in nature and thus, steaming, fermenting or cooking them is ideal,” says Dr Ranjani Raman, a wellness and nutrition expert. Other vegetables like potatoes, when eaten raw, inhibit the functioning of blood cells and thus they should be steamed or boiled.“Mushrooms carry toxins that could lead to cancer. These are destroyed in the process of cooking,” adds Ranjani.
The main intent behind cooking food is to make it easily digestible. Dr Veena Raghava, a nutritionist, comments, “From early man’s times, food was cooked for easier digestion. For instance, the fibre in ridge gourds is too strong to be eaten raw and they need to be cooked well. Brinjal can stain the teeth when eaten raw – they should be cooked too.”
 She adds, “Sweet potatoes, gourds and pumpkins also taste best when cooked.

“The anti-oxidant properties of broccoli, cabbage, green and red peppers, carrots and spinach is enhanced on steaming, vouches Veena.

So, what do people who have to watch their figure do with vegetables like these? Priya Nayak, a popular model in the City, says, “My mom makes it a point not to use an overdose of spice or oil, which are bad for the body. We are vegetarians and consume all sorts of vegetables — not just salads. Cooking in olive oil and using salt and spices just as required are the best ways of cooking.”