In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve Vitamin C in food?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving Vitamin C in food and the potential implications of preserving Vitamin C in food.
How To Preserve Vitamin C In Food
One can preserve Vitamin C in food by eating the food raw, having freshly cooked food, using less water in the cooked food, etc. Food has been known to be crucial for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which are very much required for the body to function and remain healthy. Many methods of cooking and preserving foods can destroy or diminish their vitamin content. However, the solution can be cooking foods that can make them easier to digest and may increase the absorption of certain nutrients effectively. Such is Vitamin C which is very much required in the body and is found in food products tangerine, mangoes, grapes, lemons, and other citrus food items.
Preparing Raw Food
Eat fresh foods
- Nutrients are most plentiful in fruits and vegetables that have just been picked. Therefore, it is suggested that the fruits and vegetables are eaten soon after they are plucked. The later the more nutrient loss will have occurred.
- It is suggested to buy as much as required in a few days.
- It is better to buy from markets that offer the freshest food.
Include raw food in your diet. Cooking vegetables have been studied to reduce the amount of vitamin C they contain. Vegetables like broccoli, watercress, and garlic are all generally better if eaten raw than cooked.
Reduce surface exposure. Air, water, and heat all attack vitamins starting at the surface of the produce. Vegetables should be cut into large pieces that will retain more nutrients while cooking than small pieces. if bite-size pieces are required it is suggested to always cut them smaller prior to serving.
Choose fruits ripened in the sun. Fruits that are picked green should be avoided. For instance, tomatoes ripened outdoors on the vine can have twice as much vitamin C as greenhouse tomatoes.
Wash produce quickly. If the produces are soaked, water-soluble vitamins (Vit. C) might leach out.
Know which foods are most nutritious when cooked and how to cook them.
- Cooking is seen to increase the absorption of nutrients.
- It is better to cook foods whole and unpeeled to preserve their vitamins while cooking.
- It may surprise you to learn that microwaving is a good way to heat food while preserving many nutrients, particularly in mushrooms and garlic. This is due to the short cooking times.
Choose cooking pots wisely. Iron pots are seen to destroy vitamin C while unlined copper will destroy vitamin C, vitamin E, and folacin. Thus it is suggested to use cast iron.
Don’t overcook. Roasting meat for a long time is found to destroy thiamin.
Steam where possible. Boil vegetables or cook them in large quantities of fat. Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin C will be leached out during boiling, thus, instead of boiling, steam vegetables using a small amount of water on the stovetop or in a microwave. Also, sautéd vegetables in a small amount of fat is not a bad option.
As long as microwave-safe vessels are used, microwaving does not affect nutrient content more than any other cooking method. It is suggested to keep the lid on. By keeping the lid on the pot while cooking vegetables, steam is created that helps cook the vegetables faster.
Add some oil to your vegetables. Drizzling some olive oil on the salad or lightly frying the greens in oil can help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins contained in vegetables.
Reuse or conserve cooking water. Any water that is used while cooking catches the vitamins that leach out of the food, as well as some of its flavor. It is necessary to choose cooking methods that allow retaining this water. For example, cooking vegetables in a soup. Or, the leftover water from steaming can be used as the basis for the broth for the next batch of soup.
Storing and Preserving
Store fruits and vegetables in a cool place. The enzymatic processes that destroy vitamins will be slowed by keeping vegetables and fruits near-freezing temperatures.
Freeze foods. Freezing retains nutrients better than other methods of preservation such as drying, pickling, or canning.
- It is asked to blanch vegetables first by submerging them briefly in boiling water. This helps to stop the enzymatic changes that destroy vitamins and also to kill microorganisms living on the surface.
- Then add ascorbic acid to fruits to control enzymes that cause deterioration of vitamins as well as colors.
- Also, if vegetables or fruits were frozen immediately after harvest, they may have more vitamins than older fresh produce at a grocery store.
Dehydrate foods. While drying foods in the sun or ovens is known to cause more vitamin loss than freezing, it is seen to be less damaging than the canning process. Freeze-drying, which is a method often used for herbs and soups, preserves even more nutritional value.
Eat canned foods sparingly. Canning ( also done for carrots)is another method that removes many water-soluble vitamins. Some canned foods retain vitamins. Canned fish, for example, has high levels of calcium, and canned oily fish retains its levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve Vitamin C in food?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving Vitamin C in food and the potential implications of preserving vitamin C in food.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know.