What with the many vitamin supplements that can be found on the market and obtained over the counter with no complications whatsoever, nowadays, many people seem to have gotten the impression that it is sufficient to just take one or a couple vitamin supplements a day and the body will stay in a perfectly healthy condition and get all the nutrition it needs. This idea could actually not be any further from the truth and experts confirm that it is a lot healthier to get all the necessary vitamins from a nutritious and varied diet rather than from a bunch of pills.
This is completely possible in the industrialized countries, where all kinds of foods are readily available in supermarkets and stores. In fact, some vitamin supplements, especially those containing Vitamin A or Vitamin D, have been shown to be potentially dangerous and even deadly when taken in amounts that are too big. Bottom line is that the smart thing to do is certainly not loading up on supplements and then going to have a supersized Mc Donald’s meal with a good conscience and the excuse that you took supplements earlier anyway. Aside from the fact that such behaviour will still cause obesity, which is per se unhealthy, vitamin pills are not some kind of magic pills that make up for everything else we eat and give the body all it needs.
Vitamin supplements are actually only really useful for people with vitamin deficits, which happens quite rarely in industrialized countries, or for those groups that need extra vitamins, like pregnant women who need the nutriments for their developing baby, or children that are still growing. As you will have understood, instead of those supplements that are so readily available everywhere and advertised relentlessly, you should eat a rich and varied diet, which is so much healthier and it is almost guaranteed to provide you with every vitamin you need in the quantities you need. However, some vitamins get lost when cooking and preparing the food , if this is done the wrong way. This is why it is important to know how best to prepare one’s food so that it stays just as healthy and as beneficial as it is fresh and raw.
Recipes and tricks
In order to maximize the preservation of vitamins in our meals and therefore their beneficial effect on our health and our well-being, there are several things to observe. First off, try to pick the freshest fruit and veg at the supermarket, as that is always your best bet. Avoid peeling it, because some vitamins and nutriments might be contained in the peel, which you would then lose by removing it. Furthermore, try using as little water as possible when handling your fruit and vegetables, because some vitamins dissolve in water and they would then end up in the water you cooked your meal in, rather than in the actual meal you are going to eat.
This means that boiling is not such a good thing to do when handling vegetables, as essential nutriments get lost and you will only get half the benefits out of eating up your vegetables. Ideally, the food can be steamed, which uses practically no water and so keeps all the vitamins intact, but failing that, cooking things in the microwave is usually very quick and often requires as little as a couple of spoonfuls of water. Stir frying is also a quick technique that uses little water, and if you stick to a small amount of olive oil, your meal will still be healthy and not too greasy. Another key to vitamin preservation is keeping the temperature low if you choose to boil your food. Consume it quickly after you buy it as storage can destroy vitamins, and also cook it as quickly as possible so that vitamins are kept intact.
The myth that frozen vegetables are not as good as fresh ones and that frozen food in general is bad for you is, by the way, just that: a myth. Vegetables are in fact frozen a few hours after they are gathered, so the vitamin levels in frozen vegetables are kept very high indeed.