While sitting in the pharmacy waiting for my prescription, I picked up a special publication by Prevention magazine to look at. It was called “New Year, New You”. It had the usual articles on various forms of exercise and eating habits, but the one that I found really interesting was called “Smarter Cooking.” It was subtitled “Double Your Nutrition Boost with 9 Ways to Chop, Saute, and Stir.” I know that we all know that there are ways to cook to make your food more nutritious. I know not to overcook my vegetables, that boiling some vegetables leeches nutrients into the water, and that the peels of fruits and vegetables usually contain a lot of the nutrients.
But this article went way beyond that. I found a lot of the things very interesting. One was that adding healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts increases the absortion of fat-soluble vitamins of red, green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables. Since I cook practically everything in olive oil, I think I have this one covered, except I don’t mind an excuse to toss in an avocado every chance I can!
Another one that I found intersting had to do with calcium. If you make your own chicken stock (and if you don’t, you are missing something wonderful), one of the ways to increase the calcium in it is to add a hint of lemon juice, vinegar, or tomato. Apparently the acid increases the calcium content of your stock by 64%! My only complaint, is it doesn’t say how much to add, I mean… hello…how much is a hint??? In the same vein, it states that slathering spareribs with a vinegar based barbeque sauce dramatically increases the calcium.
And two more that I thought were notable: (1) they found that soaking chicken breasts in a marinade of brown sugar, olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and salt for 4 hours reduced the carcinogenic compounds that are created by grilling by 99%, and (2) add herbs to your salads. They compared a plain green salad to one that contained added herbs like lemon balm and marjoram. The one with herbs had 200% more antioxidants!
There is nothing like sitting waiting your medicine, feeling awful, to make you start thinking about prevention!