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Vegetables cooking in a pan

Cook with care to retain nutritional value in food, Amway experts say

Have you been inspired to get more plant-based nutrients into your family’s diet? Well, the nutrition and cookware experts at Amway want to remind you that how you prepare fruits and vegetables is just as important to your phytonutrient intake as which ones you choose and how many servings.

“Preserving the nutrients nature gave us requires proper preparation, cooking and storage,” said Kerry Grann, DrPH (Doctor of Public Health), principal research scientist for food and beverages at Amway.

Start with whole fruits and vegetables and don’t peel them. Most nutrients are close to the surface so peeling and trimming cuts away nutrients. Cook them in little or no added water to preserve important water soluble nutrients.

“Fill the pan about two-thirds full with rinsed vegetables and cover with a snug-fitting cover,” said Sue Hoff, principal cookware engineer at Amway. “Adding about one-quarter cup (about 60 ml) of water will keep vegetables from burning without destroying vital nutrients.”

Cook foods gently.

“Pans with snug-fitting covers that lock in steam vapor should be started at medium heat until vapor starts to escape, then turned down to low heat so vapor stops escaping,” Hoff said. “Keep the cover on during cooking.”

Amway Queen and iCook cookware with Vitalok technology lock in steam so well and retain heat so effectively that the pan can be removed from heat and left standing to finish cooking – which also reduces energy use and keeps the kitchen cooler.

Buy the freshest produce possible, and use it quickly, as heat and storage time destroy precious nutrients. “Frozen and canned vegetables are great options, as studies show they have similar, and sometimes greater nutrient content to fresh,” Grann said.

Want more tips for creating a healthier home environment? Read more here on Amway StartUp. And if you want to learn more about phytonutrient intake, click here for a video about the Nutrilite Global Phytonutrient Report.