ELIF: How is nutrition cooked out of food?

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ELIF: How is nutrition cooked out of food?

In: Biology

If the food is boiled, then some of the Vitamins contained may leach out into the water; this is especially noticeable with Vitamin C. Effectively, certain nutrients are “water soluble”; they dissolve in water, and are washed away by the water that is boiling the food. Additionally, the heat can break the nutrients down into stuff that isn’t particularly useful to us.

By cooking a substance you heat it up. Heat changes molecules by giving them more energy to use to stick to others or to fall apart. If you cook a vegetable, like cabbage, you’re breaking down the tough stuff we can’t digest, into smaller molecules that we can. However, already present, delicate, molecules such as vitamins (which are proteins) may also break apart, and therefore are not the same shape as they were, and the body can’t use them the same as the original vitamin they formed.

Different cooking methods have different results. Microwaving veg is better than boiling it, because the brief heat of a microwave is less likely to do ‘over the top’ damage to molecules you want to use, the method accessing deeper into the food, where boiling it will do unnecessary damage to the outside of the veg and break down the materials further than is necessary, in the time it takes to make the entire thing edible from just the hot water conducting through the surface.