Culinary shocker: Cooking can preserve, boost nutrient content of vegetables

Dec 24, 2007
Culinary shocker: Cooking can preserve, boost nutrient content of vegetables
Contrary to conventional wisdom, a new study by Italian researchers finds that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutrient content. Credit: USDA-ARS photo by Scott Bauer

In a finding that defies conventional culinary wisdom, researchers in Italy report that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts, depending on the cooking method used. Their study is scheduled for the Dec. 26 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Nicoletta Pellegrini and colleagues note that although many people maintain that eating raw vegetables is more nutritious than eating cooked ones, a small but growing number of studies suggest that cooking may actually increase the release of some nutrients. However, scientists are seeking more complete data on the nutritional properties of cooked vegetables, the researchers say.

In the new study, the researchers evaluated the effects of three commonly-used Italian cooking practices — boiling, steaming, and frying — on the nutritional content of carrots, zucchini and broccoli. Boiling and steaming maintained the antioxidant compounds of the vegetables, whereas frying caused a significantly higher loss of antioxidants in comparison to the water-based cooking methods, they say.

For broccoli, steaming actually increased its content of glucosinolates, a group of plant compounds touted for their cancer-fighting abilities. The findings suggest that it may be possible to select a cooking method for each vegetable that can best preserve or improve its nutritional quality, the researchers say.

Source: ACS

Explore further: New molecule puts scientists a step closer to understanding hydrogen storage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Calcium makes for an environmentally friendly pickle

Jul 08, 2014

George Washington had a collection of 476 kinds of pickles. To prevent scurvy, Christopher Columbus stocked pickles on the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Julius Caesar, believing pickles to be invigorating, ...

'Super' banana to face first human trial

Jun 16, 2014

A super-enriched banana genetically engineered to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa will soon have its first human trial, which will test its effect on vitamin A levels, Australian researchers ...

Recommended for you

A new approach to creating organic zeolites

Jul 24, 2014

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

zevkirsh
not rated yet Dec 24, 2007
delicious!
dbt222
not rated yet Dec 27, 2007
Well I would have never guessed it the so called scientist have only reiterated what the Holistic' therapy and nutritionist have been saying for eons, WOW what a scoop ! NOT !