advertisement

Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Is Steaming or Boiling Better?
Is it better to steam or boil vegetables?
A
Answer (Published 4/25/2007)

It depends - on the vegetable. I steam many of the vegetables I cook in my own kitchen, such as snow and snap peas, greens, and artichokes. Steaming uses little energy, creates a minimum of mess and does the least damage to the nutrients in vegetables. Chinese cooks steam a variety of foods including fish, dumplings, buns, the "pancakes" they use as wrappers, and even some desserts - all good ideas.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Healthy Eating - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Nutrition - Want to change your diet? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide is your anti-inflammatory diet headquarters. Start your free trial and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, hundreds of recipes, eating guides, and more.

Another of my favorite cooking techniques is "steam frying" - this involves sautéing food briefly in a little oil, then adding some water, stock or wine, covering the pan, and allowing the food to cook until it is almost done. You can then uncover the pan and quickly boil off as much of the remaining liquid as you wish. I like this method for broccoli and cauliflower, for example.

I tend to boil less delicate vegetables such as corn on the cob, potatoes and beets. Boiling tender vegetables will result in the loss of some of their nutrients in the cooking water.

No matter how you cook vegetables you're likely to lose some nutrients. A study published in the November 2003 issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli cooked in the microwave lost up to 97 percent of its antioxidant content but lost only 11 percent when it was steamed. Another study showed that spinach cooked in the microwave retained nearly all its folate but lost about 77 percent of this nutrient when cooked on the stove. (I imagine it was over cooked. I like to steam-fry spinach for just a few minutes until it is bright green and just wilted.)

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Q & A Library



Q
Is Steaming or Boiling Better?
Is it better to steam or boil vegetables?
A
Answer (Published 4/25/2007)

It depends - on the vegetable. I steam many of the vegetables I cook in my own kitchen, such as snow and snap peas, greens, and artichokes. Steaming uses little energy, creates a minimum of mess and does the least damage to the nutrients in vegetables. Chinese cooks steam a variety of foods including fish, dumplings, buns, the "pancakes" they use as wrappers, and even some desserts - all good ideas.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Healthy Eating - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Nutrition - Want to change your diet? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide is your anti-inflammatory diet headquarters. Start your free trial and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, hundreds of recipes, eating guides, and more.

Another of my favorite cooking techniques is "steam frying" - this involves sautéing food briefly in a little oil, then adding some water, stock or wine, covering the pan, and allowing the food to cook until it is almost done. You can then uncover the pan and quickly boil off as much of the remaining liquid as you wish. I like this method for broccoli and cauliflower, for example.

I tend to boil less delicate vegetables such as corn on the cob, potatoes and beets. Boiling tender vegetables will result in the loss of some of their nutrients in the cooking water.

No matter how you cook vegetables you're likely to lose some nutrients. A study published in the November 2003 issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that broccoli cooked in the microwave lost up to 97 percent of its antioxidant content but lost only 11 percent when it was steamed. Another study showed that spinach cooked in the microwave retained nearly all its folate but lost about 77 percent of this nutrient when cooked on the stove. (I imagine it was over cooked. I like to steam-fry spinach for just a few minutes until it is bright green and just wilted.)

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.