Veggies are a staple of any healthy, clean eating routine. BUT, how you are eating them may be impacting the amount of nutrients they provide. In fact, how you prepare your vegetables may be destroying the nutrients you are attempting to gain! Here are 10 very common mistakes you may be making that make your veggies a little less healthy.
1.You Only Eat Raw VeggiesRaw veggies are yummy but there are some that are better for you after they have been cooked. It is best to avoid baking, frying or barbecuing at a high temperatures and instead opt for sautéing or steaming until they have changed colour but remain firm. Veggies that are best cooked include:
- Red Peppers
2. You Don’t Soak Or Wash ThemThey may not have pesticides, but organic produce still contains traces of dirt and insects. Washing non-organic vegetables won't remove all traces of pesticides but it will definitely help. After you peel and cut your vegetables, let them soak in water for 15-20 minutes. If you want a deeper clean, add some vinegar or baking soda. After the soak time is finished, rinse under running water and cook.
3. You’re Juicing AwayJuicing your vegetables is a great way to get your vitamins but it removes all of the dietary fiber. Fiber not only keeps you regular but also helps to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Don't throw away the pulp that is left after juicing. It makes a great addition to muffins. Another great way to make sure you get the fiber you need is to add vegetables to a smoothie instead of juicing.
4. You’re Not Pairing Veggies With FatsA lot of the vitamins you are attempting to gain from vegetables are fat-soluble. This means they require fat in order to be process by your body. Some of these vitamins include vitamin A, D, E, F and K. Try to include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, seeds or nuts with your veggies. These additions work great raw or as part of a cooked salad.
6. You’re Not Freezing Your VeggiesFresh is always best but if your veggies sit in the fridge too long, they will lose nutrients. This can be avoided if you wash, cut and freeze your produce. Just defrost in the fridge 24 hours before use.
7. You’re Storing Your Lettuce improperlyTearing lettuce produces phytonutrients as a natural defense. Recent studies have found that this process may actually double the amount of antioxidants in your food. To maximize on this, it is best to prepare the salad you are having for lunch or dinner on the same day you plan to eat it.
8. You’re Drizzling Processed Dressing On Your GreensMost dressings are full of preservatives, sugars and sodium. Make your own instead! Try this one: Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe (Makes About 1 Cup) Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt (to taste)
- Fresh-ground pepper (to taste)
- Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a jar with a tight lid.
- Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Put on the lid and shake.
- Taste and adjust the salt, pepper or other ingredients to taste.
- Store in refrigerator and shake before use