6 Food Items You May Be Eating Wrong
Choosing healthy, nutritious food to eat is important if you want to give your body all of the vitamins and minerals it needs, but sometimes the way you prepare those foods matters too. Here are a few food items that you may not be reaping all the benefits from.
Flaxseeds are a great addition to your diet as they contain health-boosting omega-3s, lignans which have antioxidant qualities and a good dose of fibre. However, our bodies struggle to digest them whole, so eating them this way may prevent your body from making use of all the beneficial nutrients inside. It’s best to add ground flaxseeds to your meals or drinks if you want to get the most out of them. You can buy them pre-ground or grind them yourself.
Boiling or stir frying broccoli causes it to lose nutrients, so these cooking methods are best avoided when it comes to this tasty green vegetable. Broccoli is full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including fibre, calcium, folate and vitamins C, A and K. To keep all of these intact, you should steam broccoli or even eat it raw. When steaming it, you should aim to maintain its green colour and keep it slightly crunchy.
Carrots, on the other hand, are best eaten cooked rather than raw. Carrots contain carotenoids – colourful plant pigments which have been linked to various health benefits such as improved vision, a boosted immune system, and a reduced risk of cancer and other diseases. Eating carrots cooked enables your body to better absorb these carotenoids.
Similarly, you’ll benefit more from cooked tomatoes than raw ones. Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene – a carotenoid with particularly high antioxidant activity. Levels of lycopene significantly increase in tomatoes when they are cooked.
Just one 51.5mg serving of strawberries contains half of your daily vitamin C requirement, along with plenty of antioxidants and fibre. However, you reduce the amount of vitamin C you receive from strawberries simply by cutting into them before you eat them. This is because this particular vitamin begins to break down when exposed to light and oxygen. To make sure you get as much vitamin C from your strawberries as you can, store them whole in the fridge and avoid cutting them for as long as possible, rather than storing them sliced or buying them pre-cut.
Garlic contains allicin – an enzyme which, unlike vitamin C, benefits from exposure to air. Research has shown allicin to be an immune-enhancing compound which may help to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart-related conditions. To reap its full benefits, avoid using garlic straight after you’ve cut it. Instead, leave it to stand for 10 minutes or so before cooking it.
Eating these healthy food items prepared in any way is always better than not eating them at all, but understanding how to get the most out of them can have a real positive impact on your health. Make sure you keep these tips in mind next time you’re preparing some of your favourite healthy meals or snacks.
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