Vegetables: According to a new US study, from the University of Illinois, steaming your vegetables helps retain their cancer-fighting nutrients (like sulphoraphane in broccoli) far better than other cooking methods like microwaving or boiling. Sulphoraphane — a plant compound with strong anti-cancer properties — is abundant in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and arugula.

 

Lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery, explains that the enzyme myrosinase is necessary to release sulphoraphane, but cooking methods like microwaving and boiling destroy this enzyme. Steaming is a slower, gentler heat, and isn't intense enough to kill myrosinase. Dr. Jeffery recommends that you cook broccoli in a steaming basket for 3 to 4 minutes for the biggest cancer-fighting boost.

 

Strawberries: According to a recent Brazilian study, the best way to eat a strawberry, is whole. Whole strawberries contain 8 to 12 per cent more vitamin C than when they are cut. That's because vitamin C begins to break down as soon as it's exposed to light and oxygen.

 

The study also found that it's best to store strawberries in a cool temperature, because it helps retain vitamin C too.

 

Wine: I'm sure you won't appreciate me telling you how to drink your wine... But don't worry, I won't interfere too much with how you enjoy a glass of your favourite red wine, as long as you don't let the bottle "breathe".

 

A 2012 Chinese study found that when red wine is decanted for long periods of time — up to 12 hours — the organic acids and polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) it contains, begin to break down. Leaving the bottle open overnight cancels out the usual health benefits of red wine, which include decreased depression, increased testosterone and a healthier heart.

 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes have numerous health-boosting properties such as lowering the risk of stroke, helping to ward off prostate cancer and preserving brain power well into old age. And it's all down to the antioxidant lycopene.

 

It turns out that heating tomatoes (instead of

eating them raw) significantly increases their

levels of lycopene. In fact, a recent study,

published in The British Journal of Nutrition,

found that people who eat most of their fruit

and vegetables raw were deficient in lycopene.

 

Cook tomatoes in olive oil for the biggest nutritional

boost. Lycopene is fat-soluble, meaning you need

fat in your diet for your body to absorb it properly.

 

Frozen fruit and vegetables: I know we usually say that 'fresh is best', especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables, which is why many people skip the frozen food section in the supermarket.

 

However, UK researchers found that in two out of three cases, frozen fruits and vegetables packed higher levels of antioxidants — including polyphenols, vitamin C, and beta-carotene — than the fresh kind.

 

But there is a trick. As fruit and vegetables age, their nutrients begin to change and break down. That's why it's better to eat produce that was frozen at prime ripeness with its nutrients intact, instead of week-old produce that no longer has the same beneficial chemical makeup.

 

 

February 2014

Source – Editor – Agora Health

 

I sometimes think we look for big answers instead of simple solutions, especially at this time of year when many of us dwell on the dos and don'ts of dieting and healthy eating.

 

So, I was relieved when I came across an article in Time magazine that discussed the most common mistakes people make when eating certain foods. I know it may sound like I'm about to embark on some serious dietary advice all over again, however I'm not going to tell you what not to eat... Instead, I'm going to tell you how to eat the following 5 foods (that you are probably already eating) in the best ways possible, in order to unlock their full benefits:

Are You Eating These 5 Foods The 'Wrong' Way?

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