Health Hoarders: Maximize The Vitamins In Your Veggies

Do vegetables lose vitamins and minerals when cooked? One Zeel member wanted to know if, for example, a vegetable that is abundant with vitamin C, like red bell peppers, loses its nutritional value when stir-fried or heated in some other delicious way.

Kathy Shattler, a registered dietitian based out of Owosso, Mich., and a professional member of the American Dietetic Association, explains that vegetables lose nutrients in the water they are cooked in. Healthful (and flavor-conscious!) chefs will often save this water to make savory soups and other palatable recipes that require vegetable stock to regain some of the nutrients lost.

To preserve nutrients in your kitchen, try using a vegetable steamer. Steaming is one of the best ways to capitalize on a vegetable's taste, color, and most importantly, its nutrients. Vegetable steamers, like this simple one from kitchen bigwig Cuisinart ($34.95), work great, though you can also purchase smaller and flatter ones that fit inside of a pan as well, allowing veggies to steam rather than simmer in the boiling water.

— StacyAtZeel,

Have questions of your own or want to learn more? Ask our experts! Zeel experts are eager to answer your questions about staying fit and eating right. You'll be promptly notified when a provider responds.