With the ever changing research; it’s hard to get all the inforamtion you need to be “truley healthy.” Here are some of the most common mistakes people make in the kitchen. Are you one of them?
1.) Only buying produce ONCE a week. Research shows the longer the produce sits on the counter or in the fridge, the less vitamins and nutrients it contains.
“After about a week in the fridge, for example, spinach retains just half of its folate and around 60 percent of its lutein (an antioxidant associated with healthy eyes), concludes a study in the Journal of Food Science. Broccoli loses about 62 percent of its flavonoids (antioxidant compounds that help ward off cancer and heart disease) within 10 days, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (credit).”
You are better off buying produce more then once a week to ensure that you get all the vitamins.
2.) Storing Foods In Clear Containers. Have you ever noticed that your vitamins are in shaded glass containers or plastic containers that DON’T allow light in? That’s because light damages vitamins. So why would you store food that contains vitamins in clear containers?
“If you’re still buying your milk in clear plastic jugs, consider switching to cardboard cartons. Milk is rich in the B vitamin riboflavin; when exposed to light, a chemical reaction is kicked off that reduces the vitamin’s potency, according to researchers from Ghent University in Belgium. Other nutrients, such as amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and vitamins A, C, D, and E, are also affected. And because lowfat and nonfat milk varieties are thinner than whole milk, light can penetrate them more easily. “This process, known as photooxidation, can change the flavor of the milk and create disease-causing free radicals,” says Susan Duncan, Ph.D., a food scientist at Virginia Tech. Since grain products (especially whole grains) are also high in riboflavin, they too are susceptible to this breakdown of nutrients and production of free radicals. Duncan recommends avoiding the practice of storing dry goods like pasta, rice, and cereals in clear containers on your countertop. Instead, keep them in their original boxes or in opaque containers and stash them in your kitchen cabinets, where they’ll be shielded from light.”
3.) Your In A Hurry To Cook Your Garlic. Garlic has been proven to ward off cancer. However, if you don’t allow it to “ripen” then it doesn’t produce the cancer fighting agents
“Chop, slice, or crush your cloves, then set them aside for at least 10 minutes before sautéing,” says John Milner, Ph.D., chief of the nutritional science research group at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland. “Breaking up garlic triggers an enzymatic reaction that releases a healthy compound called allyl sulfur; waiting to cook garlic allows enough time for the full amount of the compound to form.”
4.) Not Eating Avocado Frequently. If you only eat avocado when you eat dips then you are robbing yourself of some helpful vitamins and “good fat.” Cut down on your “bad fats” by adding avocado to your daily life and omitting fried foods.
“Avocados are exceptionally rich in folate, potassium, vitamin E, and fiber. It’s true that they’re also high in fat, but it’s the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. And half an avocado has just 153 calories. One novel way to work them into your diet is to use them as a fat substitute in baking. Many of us have been using applesauce or puréed prunes in place of butter and oil in brownie and cookie recipes for years. Researchers at Hunter College in New York City wanted to see if avocado could work in the same way without affecting the taste. They replaced half of the butter in an oatmeal cookie recipe with puréed avocado. Not only did this swap cut the total fat count by 35 percent (avocados have fewer fat grams per tablespoon than butter or oil), it also made the resulting treats softer, chewier, and less likely to crumble than cookies made according to the original recipe.”
5.) Leaving Out the Spices. We all get tired and leave out spices. Instead, we use excess salts to add flavor. It’s been proven that increasing spices in your foods wards off bacteria.
“Herbs and spices not only enhance the flavor of your cooking without adding fat or sodium, many of these fragrant ingredients also protect you from food poisoning. After testing 20 common seasonings against five strains of bacteria (including E. coli, staphylococcus, and salmonella), researchers at the University of Hong Kong found that the higher the antioxidant value of the spice, the greater its ability to inhibit bacterial activity. Cloves, cinnamon sticks, and oregano were the most effective at fighting off these food-borne pathogens.”
6.) Peeling Your Fruits and Veggie. Although the skins of some fruits and veggies must be removed, others are better left untouched. Since vitamins and nutrients can be absorbed through the skin; removing the peel can be detrimental to the consumers.
“Most of the antioxidants and polyphenols in produce are located very close to the surface of the skin or in the skin itself. A study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that most fruit peels exhibited two to 27 times more antioxidant activity than the pulp of the fruit. “Many of us remove the skins from eggplant, bell peppers, peaches, apples, and nectarines while preparing recipes, but we’re really just tossing away nutrients and fiber,” says nutritionist Forberg.”
7.) Cooking Your Vegetables WRONG. Making the choice to eat vegetables verses refined carbs is a good one! However, many people cook their vegetables the wrong way.
“Boiling may seem like a simple, nofuss way to prepare vegetables without adding oil, but this cooking method can cause up to 90 percent of a food’s nutrients to leech out, says Karen Collins, R.D., a nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. “Minerals like potassium and watersoluble vitamins like B and C end up getting tossed out with the water,” she says. To keep these essentials from draining away during the cooking process, try steaming (use a minimal amount of water with a steamer basket), microwaving, or stir-frying.”
Even if you stir- fry your veggies or steam them; make sure that you don’t over cook them. Try not to cook them over 4-5 minutes.
8.) You Don’t Wash All Your Produce. Personaly, I don’t know many people who wash a water melon before before slicing it up to eat. However, many pesticides and chemicals can be transfered to the inside fruit via the outside peel.
“To clean produce, simply run each piece under the tap and gently scrub. “Using your hands to rub fruits like oranges, bananas, and peaches under water is sufficient,” says Ruth Frechman, R.D., a dietitian in Burbank, California, and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. When you’re done, dry the items with a clean cloth or paper towel. It’s important to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after you handle the items to further reduce the spread of bacteria.”
I consider myself a pretty healthy person, but many of these things I would have never thought to do. Research can be a powerful tool to keep you, and your family healthy and free of disease. Pass on the info…. knowledge is power.