Six Invisible Kitchen Mistakes

Read about the invisible mistakes we make in the kitchen that snuff out much-needed anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals from the food we eat.

What we think are good, healthy habits could actually compromise our nutrition — and these can start right in our kitchen, where we prepare the food we eat everyday.

We often lock onto certain concepts that we learn from our mothers or the media, but like everything we do, we should allow ourselves to question the habits that have become second nature to us. Fortunately these invisible mistakes we are pointing out are easily reversible and won’t cramp your style.

Let’s go through the unseen blunders we make before we sink our teeth into our next meal.

Over-stocking on fruit and vegetables. Believe it or not, they start losing vitamins and minerals once they are harvested. For example, a head of broccoli can lose over 60 per cent of its nutrients within a week and a half. Buy your groceries in smaller batches.

Peeling skin off fruit. The best stuff is in the skin or close to the surface of fruit. You are paring away precious anti-oxidants and bioflavonoids. Give skins of apples, peaches, eggplants, carrots and potatoes a chance — if scrubbed well, the grit would be gone and the nutrients remain. Some people abhor the slight bitterness of skin, but like anything that is good for you, you could try getting used to the extra flavor.

Boiling vegetables. Avoiding too much oil and grease from frying and baking may be a good habit but turning to boiling your veggies is also slighting your health. Essential vitamins and minerals are simmered away in the water and you don’t get to consume anything but the pulp left behind. Choose steaming as a cooking option instead. While you cut back on the oil, you still retain the goodness.

Pinching on herbs and spices. You’ll be surprised to know that popular herbs and spices, like rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, and bay leaves, are high in anti-oxidants which actually make them resistant to bacteria such as salmonella and E-Coli.

Cooking garlic too quickly. We often toss garlic into the frying pan right after we chop them. Here’s an alternative: leave them aside for about 10 minutes before cooking, so that enzymes have time to release the cancer-fighting compound, allyl sulfur.

Storing food in transparent containers. Light actually triggers a chemical reaction with food that reduces the level nutrients in them. Riboflavin, found in wholegrain pasta, rice, and bread, is light sensitive. Milk loses Vitamins A, E, D and amino acids when exposed to light. Buy these foods in cardboard cartons and don’t transfer them to see-through glass or plastic bottles.

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