Whether you’re looking to lose weight, or just to be healthier in general, boiling your food is a great cooking option. There are many benefits including reducing oil usage, making certain foods more easily digestible, taste, and even killing bacteria on the outside of the food. Plus, it’s such an easy way to cook – set a timer and work on the rest of your dinner. Let’s take a look at how boiling foods is healthy.
Is eating boiled food healthy?
I bet you’re wondering if eating boiled food is actually healthy. There have been sources that note vegetables can lose nutrients (water-soluble vitamins) during boiling or at least lose some certain nutrients like Vitamin C. Although this may be true, there are certain foods that do well being boiled (like potatoes). On top of this, you also save calories that you would normally consume from fat.
The answer is – it depends on what your health goals are. In general, boiling food is healthy. However, if you’re looking to gain a certain nutrient – like Vitamin C – from a vegetable you may want to try that vegetable raw or steamed instead.
Can I eat boiled vegetables every day?
Short answer – yes you can. Boiled vegetables still contain a good amount of nutrients. Plus, boiling the vegetables helps kill any nasty bacteria on the outside of the vegetables.
Think of vegetables like broccoli that are super hard to clean – even if you do a rinse before cooking, there’s no way you can get every tiny area. When boiling, you can easily kill all of the germs as the hot water will take care of it for you.
Of course, I would still recommend washing the vegetables before getting any dirt or debris off.
Another tip: Although it’s healthy to eat boiled vegetables every day, make sure to include fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet as well to ensure your nutrient and vitamin needs are met.
What are the benefits of eating boiled food?
As mentioned above, there are multiple advantages of eating boiled food. Below are the top five reasons you should consider including more boiled food in your routine.
1. Less oil
The first one being it can help reduce your fat intake if you’re boiling instead of pan frying.
Using a lot of fat in foods – even just pan-frying, can increase cholesterol levels. Often, people with heart conditions are advised to avoid high levels of fat in foods by doctors. Boiling is a great way to cook your food and keep the extra oils out.
Plus, as noted by Dr. William Lumu, a lot of vegetables already have natural oils in them so extra oil for cooking is not recommended for those who need to keep an eye on their cholesterol levels.
2. Reduces stomach inflammations
Eating boiled food can help decrease stomach inflammation that is caused by germs on the food. Boiling the food kills the germs (as mentioned above) which would help in preventing or reducing stomach inflammation.
3. Aids with kidney stones
Kidney stones are formed in part due to oxalates. Boiling vegetables actually helps get rid of 87% of oxalates, thereby reducing the amount of oxalates you are ingesting.
4. Healthier skin
Increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables – especially those that have good amounts of fiber, water content, and antioxidants can assist with healthy skin. Since these qualities remain in vegetables even after boiling, eating boiled vegetables can be a great way to keep your skin healthy.
5. Less cooking time
Boiling is usually pretty quick – of course cooking times vary depending on what is being cooked. Compared to pan frying or baking, the time line is typically much shorter.
For example, baking chicken in the oven takes about 30-45 minutes depending on the cut of chicken. When boiling, you can have cooked chicken in 12-20 minutes. The same applies to other boiled foods like vegetables – some vegetables can even be cooked and ready to eat in as little as four minutes (think asparagus).
Is boiled food better than fried food?
In most nutritionists and doctors’ opinions, boiled food is better than fried food. Frying food allows a good amount of oil to soak into the food item since it usually takes longer to cook. If you’re trying to avoid high-fat foods, this is not a recommended cooking option.
Overall, boiling foods is the healthier alternative to frying. Pan-frying is also another option, although it does use oil to cook foods, the amount of oil is much lower and the foods cook more quickly than deep frying so less oil is absorbed.
Which vegetables should be eaten boiled?
Many different vegetables can be eaten boiled. Here are a few ideas for vegetables that can be cooked in this manner.
- Leafy greens. This includes anything from kale to bok choy, cabbage, and even spinach.
Recommended cook time: 3-5 minutes.
- Firm vegetables. This would be vegetables like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn.
Recommended cook time: 8-10 minutes.
- Hard vegetables. Think any vegetables that are solid like carrots, pumpkins, and yams.
Recommended cook time: 12-15 minutes.
- Starchy vegetables. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and root vegetables like Rutabaga are included in this category.
Recommended cook time: 18-20 minutes.
Tip: Check your vegetables as they cook – if you can pierce the vegetable easily with a fork, it is done and ready to eat. Depending on the size of the vegetables or cut vegetables, the recommended cook time may vary.
Most foods can be boiled instead of fried, pan-fried, or baked. Although boiling may cause some vitamins to come out of the vegetables, it also provides many health benefits. Plus, boiling is a quicker way to cook food items. Try some boiled vegetables or meat at your next meal and see how you like it! You’ll be on your way to healthier meals and feeling your best.