Diabetes & Diet: How To Preserve the Nutrients In Your Cooked Veggies

Adults should eat between three to five servings of vegetables daily.


Replacing the fats and carbohydrates in your diet with healthy, high-fiber vegetables is a great idea. Many kinds of veggies contain nutrients that are beneficial for diabetics. For instance, broccoli has plenty of Vitamin C, beta carotene, and folate, as well as being low in carbs and starches.

However, many people aren’t familiar with the best methods for cooking their vegetables to preserve the nutrients. There is a tendency to boil everything or overcook foods until they become very soft. Both of these cooking techniques can either leach nutrients from vegetables or destroy them.

Ideal Cooking Methods

You do have a few options for preparing those sides. Steaming is one of the best ways to cook vegetables. It heats food through without leaching any nutrients out into the water. Plus, steaming only takes a few minutes.

Surprisingly, the microwave is your friend when it comes to heating up veg. This appliance can cook without adding water in a very short period of time. This is useful because the longer you expose certain nutrients to heat such as folate and Vitamin C, the more they tend to break down.

When you want to serve a mix of veggies as your main course, put them into a stir-fry. This Chinese cooking method relies on very high heat for a short period. It leaves your veggies seared but still crisp.

Additional Preparation Tips

When putting your meals together, there are a few other things you can do to increase the nutrient content. Let’s take a look:

  • Leave your vegetables whole, if possible. Nutrient loss is greater when veggies are sliced up. You can cook whole and slice at the table.
  • Keep the lid on your pot while steaming food. This traps heat in and reduces the cook time.
  • Don’t let your veg get soft. They’re best when brightly colored and crisp.
  • Feel free to eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables. This can help increase your intake of certain nutrients.

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are what helps the machine (a.k.a. your body) to run smoothly. Take the time to preserve as many of these nutrients as possible when preparing meals. You’ll be helping yourself stay healthy in the long run.


Cooking Methods to Preserve Nutrients in Fruits & Vegetables. URL Link. Accessed July 26th, 2017.

The Most Nutritious Method of Cooking Different Vegetables. URL Link. Accessed July 26th, 2017.

Top 25 Power Foods for Diabetes. URL Link. Accessed July 26th, 2017.