Sex & Love
Weight Loss
Women in Sport
She has some of the biggest hits to her name, but Cher is just as well known for her fashion sense…
Brought to you by Dry skin is ageing skin so we all need a moisturiser in our beauty cabinet that…
Erin Holland is a machine. She strength trains on the reg, and crushes all sorts of different…
The benefits of exercise are impossible to ignore. Aside from cardiovascular health, the endorphin…
You can’t beat getting lost in a good book or podcast, but did you know both have major…
Sure, they’re not the sexiest topic in nutrition (unless you’re partial to an eggplant or peach emoji), but fruit and vegetables offer some attractive benefits. Evidence shows that, when consumed daily, they help reduce the risk of diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. There’s also research to suggest they
may protect against type 2 diabetes. 
Currently, the global recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake (set in 2003 by the World Health Organization) is a minimum of 400g a day. Meanwhile, national guidelines suggest aiming for five serves of vegies/legumes daily and two of fruit. With the average daily intake in Australia coming in at only 2.4 serves of vegetables/legumes and 1.4 of fruit, there’s some room for improvement.
Portions aside, the way you prepare vegies also affects the benefits. While most fruits are ready to eat, vegetables typically undergo some sort of cooking before they hit your plate, which affects nutrient levels and how those nutrients are absorbed by the body. So what’s the most nutritious way to prep produce? 
Well, in short, it depends on the vegetable and the nutrients in question.

One Chinese study investigated the effects of five cooking methods (five minutes each of steaming, microwaving, boiling, stir-frying, or boiling and stir-frying) on the nutrient levels in broccoli. The researchers found that, except for steaming, all cooking methods led to significant losses of vitamin C and glucosinolates – compounds associated with protective effects against cancer. Steaming: one, boiling: nil.
Other studies have investigated the impact of cooking on a broader range of vegetables. A Spanish study tested the effects of boiling, microwaving, pressure-cooking, frying, griddling and baking on the antioxidant activity of 20 types of vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, green beans and zucchinis. While there were variations according to the type of vegie, overall, results showed that microwaving and griddling produced the lowest nutrient losses, while pressure-cooking and boiling led to the greatest. 
This mix of results might be confusing in isolation, but when taken together, the evidence suggests that submerging your vegetables in water isn’t your best bet to preserve precious nutrients. Steam to avoid this (a colander over a pan of simmering water works a treat as a DIY steamer), or if you’re boiling (or stir-frying), keep it brief and, if possible, throw the nutrient-filled cooking water into a soup.
As ever, there are exceptions. Carotenoids and lycopene (yellow, orange and red pigments with antioxidant effects, found in foods like pumpkin and tomatoes) tend to be more bioavailable when boiled or stewed for a longer period, as cooking softens the cell walls, facilitating their absorption. One study found that cooking tomatoes for 30 minutes increased lycopene levels by 35 per cent – evidence, if you needed it, that pomodoro sauce is a legit health food. 
Getting nutritional bang for your buck isn’t just about prep; how you store vegies counts too. A 2017 study found the frozen kind retained more nutrients than fresh ones that were kept in the fridge for five days. So, if you’re not eating them within a couple of days, adding frozen produce to your shopping list could serve you well
Peas: A source of vitamin C, folate and fibre. Microwave or steam for 2 to 3 mins to retain their C content. 
Tomatoes: Eaten raw, they’re another good go-to for vitamin C. Roasted or cooked into a sauce, they’re high in the antioxidant lycopene – add a drizzle of olive oil to cooked tomatoes to increase absorption. 
Broccoli: High in folate, vitamin C and fibre. Steam lightly and serve crunchy in salads or dip in hummus.

Sign up for workouts, meals and more!

Let’s do this.
For Under Armour athlete Nicola Stevens, it’s the lasting legacy of her mother’s ambition and love…
From too much sauv to sweaty workouts, summer can compromise your complexion. Here, experts reveal…
For 34-year-old Sydneysider Saliya Katunga, a hectic social life meant difficulty controling her…
Photography: Vikk Shayen. Hair & Make-up: Carla Dyson. Stylist: Karly Brown. Image Courtesy of…
The past couple of years have undoubtedly had an effect on all of us, with many of us feeling the…
More From
How to get 10 a day!
Add some colour to your lunch!
Have tinned butterbeans in your cupboard? Then you’re ready to go.
“I’m Italian, so any kind of pasta [makes] my DNA just dance around.”
Let’s take a tour of cultures around the world for the best nutrition tips.
So you’re not stuck popping all sorts of random stuff.
Fresh, and perfect for summer.
Comfort in a bowl.
Power up your plate.

Advertising Enquiries:
Advertising Enquiries:
Subscription Enquiries:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.