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Best Veggie Nutrition: Steamed? Microwaved? Fresh? Frozen? Raw?

Hello!  How was your week? It seems that Spring came too early, then got embarrassed about it all and went hiding for awhile! We’ve been glad for our coats this week.

But it must be Spring because asparagus (YUMMMM) is super cheap at our grocery store right now. Today’s article is all about the best way to prepare veggies for best nutrition … Does the microwave destroy nutrients???

What has warmed my heart this week, almost like a snuggly coat, is the cute article from the New York Times about the couple who put together a huge wedding in five days.   Well written with some laugh-out-loud humor, it’s worth five minutes to read the article.

Here’s some profound wisdom from the bride (a very savvy lawyer) to make life happier and less stressful (AKA healthier!)

With only five days to plan, with each social expectation for my wedding I asked myself: “Does this achieve the goal of making the people at my wedding feel loved and appreciated for the role they play in my life? Will it help strengthen my marriage and the promises we made to each other?” If the answer was no, I didn’t waste any more time.

I now appreciate applying this to other areas of life. Is where we go to dinner eternally significant? If not, it’s not worth arguing over. Do party favors for the barbecue you’re giving matter? Probably not. Enjoy the path of least resistance. If it truly represents the most important elements of your life and relationship, put time, energy and creativity into it. If not, do yourself a favor and skip the stress.”

Isn’t that refreshing?!?  It’s a fun way to launch the weekend!  Please enjoy the rest of today’s information … and do check out the asparagus prices at the grocery store!

Today’s Article
Does Microwave Cooking “Kill” Vegetables?  Best Veggie Preparation!

We don’t know anyone who doesn’t love tender, cooked asparagus!  What’s the best way to cook it?  Do canned or boiled veggies really lose all their nutrients?  Do canned veggies have the nutrients cooked out of them?

In a nutshell: Cooking, even microwave cooking, actually RELEASES some nutrients!  Use as LITTLE water as possible when microwaving — that’s where the nutrients are loss. Fresh is only better if it’s eating within a very few days from the grocery store, and ANY way you eat your veggies is better than NO veggies!

Here’s Eating Your Veggies 101

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Are your taxes all done? Several years ago a lovely senior who loves the tea wrote me about her son, a CPA with his own accounting company, who lived on energy drinks during tax season.  At the end of the season, he became very ill, with his doctor telling him that he was going to need some serious evaluation for a number of things.  He was staying with his mom that weekend after this big health scare and she said, “You need some tea!”

He was game and drank a couple of glasses.  She had been so delighted and quick to follow through, that she didn’t realize until AFTER he’d drank it that she had given him the CONCENTRATE that was not diluted.  Well …..

It was a long weekend, with a lot of time in the bathroom, and he was NOT thrilled.

However, when he went to the doctor several days later to start the tests, his doctor was OVER THE MOON … and couldn’t believe how his system had normalized! It was a powerful witness to the power of the tea and this ultimate colon cleanse and the benefits it provides the entire body.

In visiting with his Mom later she said, “You know, I think it was a prompting from God to just give it to him full-strength.”

So you never know .. with extreme situations, it’s not a bad idea to try the tea at a strong dilution … even FULL STRENGTH on occasion will not be harmful in any way!

Wow!!

Happy Birthday to Janice Miller, Dr. Miller’s wife! How we love this Southern Belle. (I wish you could all see her gorgeous smile and beautiful skin.)  It’s very truth that it is Dr. Miller who is the mastermind and brilliant formulator, but Janice put aside a very successful corporate career many years ago to take on the business end of the tea.  Her skills, talents and dedication are the reason it is it available for all of us — beyond their own clinics here in Jackson.  She is four people in one with her knowledge of herbs and health, best business know-how, government and FDA requirements, and pulling it all together to make things tick-tock-ROCK!  Janice, the Allen family and ALL our tea friends thank you from the bottom of our hearts for ALL you do so that we have the tea!

Thankfully Dr. Miller and Janice are passing this all on to their very capable grown children so we are assured of have the tea into the next generation.

MICROWAVED VEGGIES:  May Retain Nutrients BETTER!

The primary factors in retaining nutrients when using a microwave are short cooking times and little added water.

Cooking Times

According to Harvard Health Publications, certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, will break down when exposed to heat, regardless of whether you cook using a microwave or through more conventional methods.

However, because microwaves cook foods quicker, they may actually do a better job of preserving nutritional content that can be destroyed as a result of high heat exposure. Nutrients are also better preserved when minimal amounts of water are used during cooking. To further preserve the nutritional content of vegetables, Columbia University recommends not peeling the vegetables and using large pieces. Cover the foods so they steam during the cooking process, further reducing the cooking time.

READ MORE HERE:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/368262-do-microwave-ovens-destroy-food-nutrients/

Boiling Vegetables

During the cooking process, some nutrients leach out of the vegetables and into the cooking water. The longer they cook, the more nutrients escape. When making a soup or stew, this may not be an issue, as the broth is consumed along with the rest of the soup. However, when cooking vegetables intended as a side dish, a snack or a meal, boiling will result in vegetables that have some level of diminished nutrients. Overcooking also dulls color and flavor.

Steaming Vegetables

We love our steamer for veggies and use it continually!

Unlike boiled vegetables, steamed veggies are cooked briefly and then removed from the heat. This can be done using a vegetable steamer or a regular saucepan with a cover. During steaming, the heat of the steam cooks the veggies, and they are spared from the boiling water. The goal of steaming is to cook the vegetables until they are no longer raw, but still bright and crisp. This preserves color and flavor, and some of the nutrient content.

The flavoring that is often added when veggies are boiled (i.e. broth and spices) can be provided for steamed veggies by putting the seasonings in the water underneath the steamer.

Nutrients Lost, Nutrients Gained?

According to a report published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2008, steaming or boiling actually preserves some antioxidants in vegetables. The study tested several vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage and peppers. During their study, researchers examined the impact that cooking had on various antioxidants, including carotenoids, ascorbic acid and polyphenols. They found that while some nutrients, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C, are damaged during cooking, other nutrients may be released when vegetables are cooked.

And On To Fresh vs. Frozen Vs. Canned Veggies

Fresh veggies and fruits from the grocery store are only better if they are eaten quickly!

Most of us believe that fresh produce has the highest nutrient content, but that’s only true if you pick and eat the fruit or vegetables the same day. By the time fresh produce is picked, processed, travels to your local grocery store, sits on the grocery store shelves and then in your refrigerator, water-soluble vitamin content has decreased.

According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, frozen and canned produce are processed within hours of being picked, and contribute important amounts of vitamins and minerals.  Produce for freezing is picked off the vine at its peak ripeness and frozen quickly to preserve nutrients.

Canned fruit and vegetables are also picked at their peak, although the high heat used to blanch produce during the canning process can remove some of the water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins. However, these water soluble vitamins are also lost during transport and storage of fresh vegetables, so in the end the nutrient amounts are very similar.

Blanching can actually increase the content of some nutrients. Frozen green peas actually have more beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, than fresh or canned peas. Canned tomatoes have the highest levels of beta-carotene and lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against heart disease and some types of cancer.

I for one and am glad that there are 2 big bunches of asparagus in our refrigerator right now.  I think I’ll lightly steam them BOTH tonight: one bunch for me and one for Bob.  Care to join us?

Carolyn Allen is the mother of 5 children and grandmother to 11 (so far!). She and her husband, Bob, have been helping people feel and look better for years with My Miracle Tea. Read More
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