Whether you broil or boil, sauté or simmer, the nutrient content of the vegetables you cook is affected by the cooking method used. To make sure you’re getting the most bang out of your broccoli, the most good from your green beans, follow these dos and don’ts.

  • Do use as little water as possible when boiling vegetables. Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and the B vitamins are diminished when they come into contact with water. These nutrients leach out of the vegetable, settling in the pot water. Limit how much water you use and, if possible, consume the fluid left behind. Pureeing some of the vegetables with the cooking liquid can make a tasty and healthy soup.
  • Don’t forgo the oil. We’re not talking deep-frying here. But using a little oil or butter when you sauté vegetables can improve the absorption of health-boosting phytochemicals and antioxidants.
  • Do reduce cooking times when you can. The less time a vegetable is exposed to high heat, the more its nutrients stay intact.
  • Don’t cut up vegetables before cooking. Keeping the vegetable whole better protects it from the damages of heat and water, preserving its nutritional integrity. What’s more, if you leave the peel on you up the fiber and nutrient content.


This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.