Preparing healthy meals is not difficult when you know the basics of nutritious cooking.
You can even prepare meals quicker because you don’t need to look for fancy ingredients. Nutritious cooking begins with the good, healthy ingredients that you use to prepare your meals.
“Plan your menu in advance and serve food that is freshly cooked to prevent re- heating. Re-heating destroys the nutritive value of foods and also tampers with original taste. Cover the food with cling film (plastic wrap) before string in the refrigerator to prevent mixing of flavours. Food is to be used not only as a source of calories but also as nourishment to grow, maintain and repair tissues of the body and also prevent disease,” says Sveta Bhassin, Mumbai-based nutritionist and wellness consultant.
- Vegetables should not be over-cooked. The more they are cooked, the less nutrition you will get from them. Fresh and tender vegetables cook quickly and do not need a lot of seasoning and spices to taste good.
- Most of the vegetables are covered with fertilisers and pesticides. To remove them, wash the vegetables in a sink full of potassium permanganate. Then rinse them with plain water. Cut and cook.
- Green leafy vegetables should not be cooked in acids like lime or tamarind, as the olive green colour of the green vegetables indicates difficult absorption of the nutrients form green vegetables.
- To ensure that food is not overcooked in a pressure cooker, first boil the water without putting the lid on the cooker. Then when it is boiling add the ingredients and cover the lid tightly and cook on low flame for some time till you feel the food is cooked instead of pressure cooking on high flame with many whistles of the cooker. * The pulses and legumes we buy should be unpolished and small in size. In polishing and processing them, some vital nutrients are lost.
- Onions are a rich source of quercetin which is a very important phytochemical and antioxidant. But the mistake we make is that we cut them immediately before having it. Onion should be cut and kept for at least 10 minutes before serving as oxidation helps quercetin to get activated.
- Milk purchased from a dairy which is not pasteurised should be boiled for at least 10 – 15 minutes at boiling temperature to eliminate the effect of any bacteria or other germs.
- It can be dangerous using wrong cookware. Never use painted and decorated pots and pans… Some are made of lead and silver toxin material. This can lead to severe digestive disorders.
- Using aluminium vessels for cooking can cause high levels of aluminium in the brain tissue, because it is difficult to remove aluminium from the body. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have high aluminium in brain tissue.