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  • Dr.Varalakshmi Yanamandra

Steaming or boiling which is better?

Remember that, Paneer butter masala that we all crave at least once a month or that Indian style spicy curry every one talk about. Did you ever think about the method of cooking and the impact it have on the nutrients. If you look at any cuisine while preparing any kind of food item key aspect would be the taste. We humans are slaves for our senses but for our body to nourish well the food we eat should be nutritious. Vegetables are considered as main source of protein and vitamins, which are vital building blocks for our body. Well, today it is about finding which method of cooking is nutritious! Any form of heat causes the vegetables to loss some part of nutrients to leach mainly water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin B, C and Folic acid are sensitive to heat.

First and Foremost it is Steaming....

Steaming is cooking food by steam by using any kind of vessel like steamer . Steaming is considered very healthy compared to other forms of cooking A study published in the "Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B" in August 2009 found that steaming was found to cause least loss of nutrients in broccoli, including vitamin C and beneficial plant chemicals called glucosinolates and chlorophyll.According to a USDA 2007 food table steaming only caused 15% loss of folic acid and vitamin C. Steaming also increases the anti-oxidant properties in vegetables according to "Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry".

Secondly Boiling

Even though Boiling is very easy method for cooking veggies compared to steaming boiling leaches out more nutrients from vegetables especially if you drain the water afterwards . According to USDA 2007 food table boiling caused at least 35% loss of folic acid and Vitamin C in vegetables. Boiling does help to increase the anti-oxidant properties of vegetables. Boiling is considered good for who are at risk for kidney stones. Boiling causes loss of oxalates a compound found in vegetables which is responsible for causing kidney stones. These oxalates are found in spinach, beets, beet greens, sweet potatoes, peanuts, rhubarb, and swiss chard. While steaming can cause only 53% of reduction in oxalates boiling can cause up to 85% of oxalates.

In the end

Boiling and steaming both got their ups and downs nut which one is appropriate is a choice

" If used wisely even poison can act as medicine if used inappropriately even medicine can act as poison" - Ayurveda

it boils down to the fact that one should be wise enough while making a choice!

What does Ayurveda have to say!

Ayurveda says food one should eat must be tasty at the same time healthy. Ayurveda emphasizes on cooking food mainly with water with the essence of spices and fat like ghee and sesame oil. If we look at patho physiology of any disease ayurveda explains a list of food and lifestyle changes where deep frying, excessive use of spices are considered unhealthy! Up until mid of 21st century modern medicine hasn't recognized the importance of food and lifestyle changes but ayurveda a science which is 5000 years old clearly details the impact of food and lifestyle changes on health. Ayurveda gave a list of foods which can cause many unhealthy conditions when in combination. these are called Virudha ahara or Contradictory foods.

Contradictory Combinations or Virudda ahara

Ghee and honey in equal proportions Milk with salty, sour, astringent, pungent or bitter tastes (in other words, milk combines well only with sweet foods such as cereals, cookies and small amounts of honey or raw sugar) Yogurt with milk, sour fruits, melons, fish, starches, cheese, or bananas Melons with any other foods, but especially grains, starches, grilled foods or cheese Corn with dates, raisins or bananas The nightshade family (which consists of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and sweet peppers) with yogurt, milk, melons or cucumbers. Have a look at them and next time when you eat keep an eye out for these combinations

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