Written by Franziska Spritzler — medically reviewed through Atli Arnarson BSc, phd — updated on November 7, 2019

Eating nutritious foods can boost your health and also energy levels.

You are watching: Cooking a food in liberal amounts of water is least likely to affect the vitamin content of

Surprisingly, the way you chef your food has actually a significant effect top top the quantity of nutrients it contains.

This article explores just how various cooking methods affect the nutrient contents of foods.

Cooking food boosts digestion and also increases the absorption of plenty of nutrients (1, 2).

For example, the protein in cooked egg is 180% much more digestible 보다 that of raw eggs (3).

However, some food preparation methods alleviate several vital nutrients.

The complying with nutrients room often lessened during cooking:

water-soluble vitamins: vitamin C and also the B vitamin — thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic mountain (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), and also cobalamin (B12)fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, and Kminerals: mainly potassium, magnesium, sodium, and also calciumSummary

Although cooking improves digestion and also the absorption of countless nutrients, it might reduce levels of part vitamins and also minerals.

Boiling, simmering, and poaching

Boiling, simmering, and also poaching are similar methods of water-based cooking.

These techniques differ through water temperature:

poaching: much less than 180°F (82°C)simmering: 185–200°F (85–93°C)boiling: 212°F (100°C)

Vegetables are typically a an excellent source that vitamin C, but a big amount of the is lost when they’re cooked in water.

In fact, cook reduces vitamin C content an ext than any type of other cooking method. Broccoli, spinach, and lettuce may lose up to 50% or an ext of their vitamin C as soon as boiled (4, 5).

Because vitamin C is water-soluble and sensitive to heat, it can leach out of vegetables when they’re immersed in warm water.

B vitamin are likewise heat sensitive. As much as 60% of thiamine, niacin, and other B vitamins might be lost when meat is simmered and its juices run off.

However, when the fluid containing these juices is consumed, 100% the the minerals and also 70–90% of B vitamins are retained (6).

On the other hand, cook fish was presented to keep omega-3 fatty mountain content significantly more than frying or microwaving (7).


when water-based cooking methods cause the best losses the water-soluble vitamins, they have very tiny effect on omega-3 fats.

Grilling and broiling are comparable methods of cooking with dry heat.

When grilling, the heat resource comes from below, however when broiling, it comes from above.

Grilling is among the most popular cooking methods since of the great flavor it gives food.

However, as much as 40% the B vitamins and also minerals might be lost during grilling or broiling when the nutrient-rich juice drips native the meat (6).

There are also concerns about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are potentially cancer-causing substances that form when meat is grilled and also fat drips onto a hot surface.

However, researchers have discovered that PAHs have the right to be decreased by 41–89% if drippings space removed and smoke is minimized (8).


Grilling and also broiling provide great flavor but also reduce levels of B vitamins. Also, grilling generates potentially cancer-causing substances.

Microwaving is one easy, convenient, and safe technique of cooking.

Short cooking times and also reduced exposure to warm preserve the nutrient in microwaved food (9, 10).

In fact, researches have found that microwaving is the best an approach for retaining the antioxidant activity of garlic and also mushrooms (11, 12).

Meanwhile, about 20–30% that the vitamin C in eco-friendly vegetables is lost throughout microwaving, i m sorry is much less than most cooking methods (5).


Microwaving is a for sure cooking an approach that preserves many nutrients early to brief cooking times.

Roasting and baking to express to cooking food in an oven with dry heat.

Although these terms are rather interchangeable, roasting is typically used because that meat if baking is supplied for bread, muffins, cake, and similar foods.

Most vitamin losses space minimal v this food preparation method, including vitamin C.

However, as result of long food preparation times in ~ high temperatures, the B vitamins in roasted meat may decrease by as lot as 40% (6).


Roasting or baking does not have actually a far-reaching effect on many vitamins and also minerals, other than for B vitamins.

With sautéing and stir-frying, food is cooked in a saucepan over tool to high warm in a tiny amount the oil or butter.

These techniques are very similar, but with stir-frying, the food is stirred often, the temperature is higher, and the food preparation time is shorter.

In general, this is a healthy means to prepare food.

Cooking for a quick time without water avoids the lose of B vitamins, and the addition of fat boosts the absorption of plant compounds and antioxidants (6, 13, 14).

One study uncovered that the absorption of beta carotene to be 6.5 times greater in stir-fried carrots than in life ones (15).

In one more study, blood lycopene levels increased 80% an ext when human being consumed tomato sautéed in olive oil fairly than there is no it (16).

On the various other hand, stir-frying has actually been displayed to considerably reduce the amount of vitamin C in broccoli and also red cabbage (5, 17).


Sautéing and stir-frying improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and some plant compounds, but they diminish the lot of vitamin C in vegetables.

Frying involves cooking food in a huge amount that fat — commonly oil — in ~ a high temperature. The food is regularly coated with batter or bread crumbs.

It’s a popular way of prepare food because the skin or coating maintains a seal, i beg your pardon ensures the the inside stays moist and cooks evenly.

The fat supplied for frying also makes the food taste an extremely good.

However, not all foods items are proper for frying.

Fatty fish room the finest sources that omega-3 fatty acids, i m sorry have numerous health benefits. However, these fats are an extremely delicate and also prone to damages at high temperatures.

For example, frying tuna has been presented to degrade the omega-3 contents by approximately 70–85%, while baking causes only minimal accident (18, 19).

In contrast, frying conservation vitamin C and also B vitamins, and also it may likewise increase the amount of fiber in potatoes by converting your starch right into resistant strength (20).

When oil is heated to a high temperature because that a long period of time, toxicity substances called aldehydes space formed. Aldehydes have been connected to an enhanced risk the cancer and also other conditions (21).

The type of oil, temperature, and also length of food preparation time impact the lot of aldehydes produced. Reheating oil additionally increases aldehyde formation.

If you’re going to fried food food, nothing overcook it, and use one of the healthiest oils for frying.


Frying renders food taste delicious, and also it can carry out some benefits when healthy oils room used. It’s best to protect against frying fat fish and also minimize the frying time of various other foods.

Steaming is one of the best cooking techniques for keeping nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins, which are sensitive to heat and water (4, 5, 6, 17).

Researchers have found that steaming broccoli, spinach, and lettuce reduces your vitamin C content by just 9–15% (5).

The downside is the steamed vegetables might taste bland. However, this is basic to remedy by including some seasoning and oil or butter ~ cooking.


Steaming is just one of the finest cooking approaches for maintaining nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins.

Here space 10 advice to mitigate nutrient loss while cooking:

Use as tiny water as possible when poaching or boiling.Consume the fluid left in the pan after food preparation vegetables.Add ago juices from meat that drip right into the pan.Cook vegetables in smaller quantities of water to minimize the loss of vitamin C and B vitamins.Try come eat any kind of cooked vegetables within a day or two, together their vitamin C contents may proceed to decline when the cooking food is exposed to air.Cut food ~ — quite than before — cooking, if possible. As soon as food is cooked whole, less of that is exposed to heat and water.Cook vegetables for only a couple of minutes anytime possible.Don’t usage baking soda when food preparation vegetables. Although the helps preserve color, vitamin C will be lost in the alkaline environment produced by baking soda.

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over there are plenty of ways to keep the nutrient contents of foods items without sacrificing taste or other qualities.