Foods can lose vitamins if they are stored and cooked for long periods of time.
But of course, no one would eat raw potatoes or fresh chicken.
But how can you preserve the available vitamins during cooking? V. Kodentsova, who is a professor and head of the vitamin and mineral laboratory, shared some information.
The amount of vitamins that remain in foods as a result of heat treatment depends on their storage. It must be correct.
For example, vitamins B, carotene, tends to quickly degrade in the presence of light, being outdoors and at normal room temperature. Vegetables, if they are not kept in the refrigerator, lose vitamin C completely.
Vitamins present in meat, fish are completely destroyed if the food is frozen again. And when defrosting, you need to keep them in cool water so they do not heat up quickly.
Vitamins A and E, are considered fat-soluble, they are enriched with various fats, can oxidize quickly, lose vitamins in light and in the open air.
Butter should be stored packed, in the refrigerator and do not do secondary freezing and thawing.
Vegetable butter should be kept in a cool place, far away from sunlight, stove, and in a dark bottle with a lid.
How to prepare?
Fat-soluble vitamins, which are found in foods, are not destroyed by heat treatment. But in the case of water-soluble – they are in fruits and vegetables, quite differently. Such foods do not like high temperatures and also, improper preparation for their cooking.
A lot of vitamins are mostly found in the thin layer of flesh. For example, in potatoes. Therefore, here you need to cut the skin very thinly. The ideal option is to boil or bake potatoes, beets in the so-called “jacket”. Then the useful elements are “sealed” under the skin.
Very much reduced amount of vitamins if vegetables are stored peeled or sliced. For example, a whole potato can lose about 10% of vitamin C, but cut into pieces – more than half.
Therefore, do not soak vegetables unless you plan to cook them immediately. To keep them as fresh as possible, you need to cover them with a normal, slightly moistened towel or place them in the refrigerator, in a closed container.
It should be noted that these tips do not apply to legumes. Peas or beans should be soaked beforehand, so that you do not cook them for a long time, because then all the vitamins will disappear.
Vitamins can be destroyed if they come into contact with metals that can be oxidized by air or water. For example, with aluminum. That is why, in the case of vegetables, animal products, it is necessary to use glass containers and items made of stainless material.
Greens and vegetables are best eaten whole and fresh, without sauces or oil. But if you want to eat them as a salad, dress them just before serving. Then they will not have time to lose their vitamins.
But if there is an opportunity to eat the product in raw or unpeeled form, it is better to do it that way – in this case, the loss of vitamins will be negligible.
How to cook correctly?
When boiling vegetables, be sure to place them in already boiling water. In the presence of rapid heating, the vitamins are preserved much better.
Follow the so-called “borscht rule”: put the vegetables in the boiling water so that they boil at the same time. That is, follow a certain sequence. First, the vegetables are put into the pot, for example, beets, as it takes a long time to boil. Then the potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, because these products need a short time to find the readiness.
Vitamins are perfectly preserved in vegetables that are steamed or grilled. Frying in oil should not be practiced – it will only add extra fat. In addition, vitamins in vegetables and also in fat will be completely destroyed, since it is overheated. Therefore, the frying itself, as a form of cooking is not useful, and no matter what kind of oil is used.
If you fry quickly, the meat and fish retain their vitamins. But try to do it by cutting the product into thin slices and on a non-stick pan. Then there will not be a lot of fat.
This type of food is also baked in slices in the oven. If they are wrapped in foil, it will greatly accelerate the cooking procedure and will not allow fats to oxidize, and useful elements – to go with the juice of the meat.
When boiling peeled vegetables, it is advised to keep the water where they were boiled, as part of the vitamins remain in it. This broth can then be used to make soups and other dishes.
Be sure that the vegetables are not overcooked. Cooking quickly will help to preserve their taste, vitamins, and appearance. Use vegetable stewing, which is a very good method of cooking to preserve its value.
It is also undesirable to reheat the cooked dish. If there is a lot of it, it is better to separate a certain part and then reheat it. But it is not necessary to do this unnecessarily, as all the important vitamins will go away.
The most important note about preserving vitamins
There are more vitamins in fruits and vegetables when they are raw and unpeeled and stored in a cool, dark place. Similar storage conditions are required for vegetable and animal fats.
Meat or fish will be as healthy as possible after a quick stir-fry on a dry pan or when using the grill.