ICMR recommends proper cooking methods to retain nutrients and avoid open-lid cooking | Health

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently highlighted the benefits of covering pans while cooking, as opposed to open-lid cooking. According to their guidelines, closed-lid cooking not only saves time but also helps in retaining nutrients better. On the other hand, open-lid cooking can take longer and accelerate nutrient loss.

“In open lid cooking, food takes a longer time to get cooked and exposure to air accelerates nutrient loss. While in closed-lid cooking, food gets cooked quickly and nutrients are better retained because of the shorter cooking time. Green vegetables and green leafy vegetables change color during closed lid cooking but minimize nutrient loss,” states the ICMR guidelines.

Cooking plays a crucial role in improving the digestibility of foods, making them more palatable, enhancing their taste, appearance, and texture. It also makes certain nutrients more available to the body, kills microbes, and reduces the risk of food contamination.

When it comes to healthy cooking methods, ICMR recommends options like pressure cooking or steam cooking over deep frying or roasting, as these methods lead to lower nutrient loss. Steaming, in particular, is highlighted as the best cooking method to increase the levels of antioxidants and polyphenols in vegetables and greens.

According to ICMR, boiling or pressure cooking is the best way to improve the nutritional quality of pulses, as anti-nutritional factors are destroyed during these processes. Additionally, microwave cooking is praised for retaining more vitamins and minerals compared to other methods, as it steams food from the inside-out and preserves nutrients due to the shorter cooking time.

Incorporating these cooking techniques into your daily routine can help ensure that you are getting the most nutrients out of your meals. Whether you choose to cover your pan while cooking or opt for methods like steaming and pressure cooking, making informed choices in the kitchen can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. Stay mindful of these guidelines from ICMR to make the most of your meals and nourish your body effectively.

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