Jaqueline Cordova

I don’t like vegetables, but I want to eat healthy. Where do I start?

To start off, we have to change our mind set. Thinking negative is not going to get us anywhere. There are a huge variety of vegetables that we can have in different ways. You can sauté, roast them with some salt, pepper and olive oil and even hide them in other foods. When hiding them, you can add them into smoothies, omelets, chicken or tofu stir fry, or in any soup. Most important is to balance your meals. Always have your portion of vegetables, fruits, grains and protein.

All this holiday food is making me bloated. I’m thinking of going on a juice cleanse. Any advice?

Juice cleanses are a good way to give our digestive system a break, but we have to be careful on the type of cleanse we do. There is so much information out there that can be misleading. Make sure you are feeding your body the adequate nutrients it requires. Mixing juices and smoothies throughout your day is a good idea to provide the body with some fiber. Because juicing removes fiber from foods, your body absorbs juices quicker than it does whole fruits and vegetables, which can lead to rapid rises in blood sugar rather than a sustained release of energy.

I heard cooking veggies kills all the nutrients. Is this true?

All nutrients in food are susceptible to damage from heat. Of course, whether a particular nutrient gets damaged depends on the exact nutrient in question, the degree of heat and the amount of cooking time. But in general, most of the temperatures we cook at in the oven (250-450 degrees) are temperatures where some nutrient loss occurs. Short cooking at 212 degrees in boiling water produces relatively little nutrient loss. But once boiling goes on for more than a very short period of time (a couple of minutes), the nutrient loss becomes significant. Up to 80 percent of the folic acid in carrots, for example, can be lost from boiling. Steam is actually a lower-heat way of cooking than most oven-based approaches and most stovetop ones as well. Compared to boiling, steaming is a better way of avoiding nutrient loss since the food is surrounded by water dispersed in air, rather than being completely submerged in water alone. The decreased contact of water with the surface of the food means decreased nutrient loss.

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