As you already know, the food you consume has a tremendous impact on your overall health and quality of life. And while it’s a smart idea to make healthy choices when it comes to your diet, how you prepare your food can make all the difference.
Here are some examples and tips on how to get the most out of your diet:
- Microwaving or boiling vegetables - Sulforaphane is a plant compound with strong anti-cancer properties that is found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and arugula. The enzyme myrosinase is necessary to release sulforaphane so your body can absorb it, but microwaving and boiling destroy this enzyme. On the other hand, steaming provides a slower, gentler heat that preserves myrosinase and many other micronutrients as well.
- Tip - cook broccoli in a steaming basket for 3-4 minutes for the most optimal cancer-fighting boost.
- Slicing strawberries before eating them - whole strawberries contain 8-12 percent more vitamin C than cut fruits, because vitamin C begins to break down when it’s exposed to light and oxygen.
- Tip - for the biggest C boost, store whole strawberries in the fridge - because cool temperatures help to retain vitamin C as well.
- Letting a wine bottle ‘breathe for too long - when red wine is decanted for long periods of time, for example up to 12 hours, the organic acids and polyphenols in it begin to break down. In other words, leaving a wine bottle open overnight neutralizes the many health benefits of red wine - including reduced depression, increased testosterone and a healthier heart.
- Tip - always drink wine from a freshly opened bottle.
- Eating tomatoes raw - tomato consumption has been linked to lowering men’s risk of stroke and prostate cancer, along with preserving brain power with age. Heating tomatoes significantly increases their levels of lycopene, a natural plant chemical that is part of a tomato’s antioxidant protection.
- Tip - lightly cook tomatoes in olive oil, because lycopene is fat-soluble - meaning you need fat in your diet for your body to absorb it properly.
- Avoiding frozen fruits and vegetables at the grocery store - most people think only fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy, but this is a popular misconception. In fact, UK scientists found that in two out of three cases, frozen fruits and vegetables provide higher levels of antioxidants including polyphenols, vitamin C, and beta-carotene than fresh produce. As produce ages, the nutrients in them begin to break down. It's better to eat produce that was frozen at prime ripeness with nutrients intact than week-old produce that no longer has the same beneficial nutrient content.
- Tip - incorporate frozen fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Source: Five Foods You’re Eating Wrong.