Peak performance and high endurance come from many parts of our life, from our exercise regimens to our nutrition habits. Unfortunately, many people focus on exercise without considering their nutrition. Proper nutrition makes good exercise possible, though, so we can’t leave that out of the health equation.
If you want to give your body the best nutrition, then you should choose nutritious foods and use the healthiest cooking methods to prepare your food. Some cooking methods can kill the nutrients in our food, while others can preserve it. We describe the best cooking methods for specific nutritious food groups below.
Vegetables are full of nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. Most vegetables contain potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which do a lot for the human body, although there are many other nutrients of the body. Potassium helps our muscles contract, which we need when we exercise, and helps maintain cell fluid levels, which allows for proper hydration. Fiber regulates our internal sugar levels, which controls our hunger and blood sugar. Folate helps create new DNA and encourages cell division, which is how we grow tissue. Vitamin A works throughout our entire body, boosting our immune system, keeping our organs working, and helping us grow. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that prevents damage from oxidation, which can break down tissue.
Blanching your vegetables keeps all these important nutrients inside of your vegetables. It’s also an easy cooking method, so if you’re new to cooking, then you can still do it. Simply boil vegetables for around three and a half minutes and then plunge them in an ice bath.
Meat also provides great nutrients for the body. Most meats contain protein, iodine, iron, zinc, and fatty acids. Protein helps your body build and maintain strong muscles and bones. Iodine makes thyroid hormones, which control your metabolism. Iron helps your red blood cells carry oxygen around your body, which your body needs to function. Zinc does a lot for the body, helping grow cells, create DNA, build protein, heal damaged tissue, and support your immune system. Fatty acids help store energy and communicate with protein so that the protein can do its job.
Steaming your meat seals all these nutrients in while cooking it at a healthy low temperature. Since steaming is moist heat, you don’t even need to use fats or oils in the cooking process. You can even defrost and reheat in a steam oven without losing the food’s nutrients.
Additional Nutrients and Cooking Methods
Your body needs additional nutrients beyond vegetables and meat, such as healthy fats. Nevertheless, people struggle the most with cooking vegetables and meat, which is why we provided the healthiest cooking methods that allow you to get the best nutrition from them. However, other healthy cooking methods you can try are roasting with minimal oil, sautéing, and grilling. These cooking methods work well for vegetables, meat, and carbohydrates.
Healthy cooking methods allow you to get the most nutrition from your food, so you can continue to fuel your body for peak performance and endurance. Proper nutrition can also contribute to healthy weight loss, which can help your body perform and feel better. Always speak with a medical professional if you are struggling with nutrition, weight loss, or the ability to exercise.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.