Why It Is Important To Soak Pulses Before Cooking, As Explained By A Nutritionist

Cooking tips: Never wash fruits and vegetables after peeling them. Wash them before peeling and cutting them to prevent loss of nutrients. Here are more interesting cooking tips you must note.

Cooking tips: Cut vegetables into larger pieces to prevent loss of nutrients from them


Wash dal and rice thoroughly before cooking

Do not throw away the water used to cook rice

Cook whole pulses in a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time

Healthy cooking practices are needed to prevent nutrient loss while cooking. Water-soluble vitamins can be leached in the water and if the water used while soaking is discarded, the nutrients are also dumped off. There are many nutrients which get destroyed if food is cooked at very high temperatures. However, a lot can be done to prevent this. Keep reading to know some golden rules of cooking which can help you get good taste from food and also prevent loss of nutrients.

Cooking tips that can help in preventing loss of nutrients

1. When cooking dal and rice, wash them thoroughly at once. The water in which it is soaked should be utilised for the purpose of cooking. Do not discard it. This is an effective way to preserve leached-out nutrients.

2. Do not throw away the water used to cook rice. It can be added in gravies.

Also read: 7 Expert-Recommended Tips To Minimise Nutrient Loss While Preparing Food

3. Cook whole pulses in a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time. Also soak them for 15-20 minutes or more. Soaking reduces cooking time.

4. Avoid adding baking soda to pulses. It destroys the nutrients in it, especially B vitamins.

5. Never wash fruits and vegetables after peeling them. Wash them before peeling and cutting them to prevent loss of nutrients.

6. Retain the skin of vegetables while boiling them to prevent loss of nutrients.

7. Cook vegetables/meat on high heat for short period of time. It gives food better colour and texture and also seals in the juices

8. Cook green leafy vegetables in an open pan for the initial five minutes as this helps to retains their bright green colour.

Also read: 4 Reasons To Include Spinach And Other Leafy Greens In Your Winter Diet

9. Fruits and vegetables should be cut just before consumption/cooking. Leaving cut surfaces exposed for too long leads to loss of nutrients.

10. Cut the vegetables into larger pieces. The smaller the pieces, greater is the total surface area of the food exposed, and the greater is the loss of nutrients due to leaching and oxidation.

11. Conserve energy using cookware that conserves heat and requires less fuel.

It is important to be alert while working in a kitchen. At times, we end up neglecting crucial details, which can lead to a loss of nutrients. Follow these basic guidelines to get the most of the food that you invest in on a daily basis. It is the most important aspect for facilitating good health and prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Also read: Nutritionist Gives 10 Tips To Use Less Oil For Frying And Sautéing


(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)

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