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Cooking for Health

By Daisy Wood

Did you know that it’s not just the type of food you eat that is good for you, but also the way it is cooked that matters?

Steaming versus boiling- many vegetables contain water soluable vitamins such as vitamin C and B which will be leeched out into the water if boiled, therefore leaving little micronutrient content left! Over- steaming can also destroy some of the vital antioxidant compounds within vegetables such as Sulforaphanes in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Light steaming for 2-3 minutes is best.

BBQ versus poaching- what aussie doesn’t love a good summer BQQ? The problem when we BBQ our meat though comes from the charring or blackening effect. When our meat is charred, carcinogenic (Cancer causing compounds) are formed so it is best to limit BBQ use and opt for other cooking methods that do not blacken your meats such as baking (cover with foil) light grilling, quick stir-frying and poaching or simmering.

Raw versus cooked- raw food diets have become a craze amongst many celebrities and although some foods are better for us raw, there are also some that need to be cooked in order to “unlock” the nutrients within them. Beta-carotene in carrots is one example- eaten raw the beta- carotene will not become availale, which is important so our bodies can convert it into vitamin A.  And you cant go past tomato paste or canned tomatoes to use in cooking as these contain 8 times the  amount of lycopene compared to  raw tomatoes – a powerful antioxidant said to reduce the risk of heart disease some cancers.

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