- Many vitamins and phytochemicals are heat
sensitive and prone to destruction. Prolonged
storage or cooking may destroy them.
- Many water soluble nutrients, like vitamin C,
folate, B vitamins, and minerals leach out of
foods when cooked in large quantities of water.
- Vitamin C is added to some foods as a
preservative (antioxidant) or for fortification.
- As of January 1, 1998 folate is added to cereal
grain products like pasta, flours, breads and
breakfast cereals. This public health measurement
is designed to prevent the neural tube defects,
spina bifida and anencephaly. Babies born with
either defect, have an unprotected spinal cord or
lack a brain.
- A single tomato or orange contains hundreds of
- Herbs and spices also contain phytochemicals.
- Recent studies using antioxidants have produced
variable results. One study using beta-carotene
supplements showed a higher incidence of lung
cancer and higher overall mortality among male
And last but not least
The best way of obtaining the
necessary nutrients for good health is from foods. For
those who follow these recommendations, "dietary
supplements are unnecessary, and probably unhelpful, for
reducing cancer risk"
- Cook vegetables in small amounts of water and for
brief periods of time. Avoid overcooking.
- Avoid cutting vegetables into small pieces prior
- Eat at least five fruits and vegetables daily.
Fruits and vegetables in season are not any more
expensive than snacks such as potato chips,
- Use vegetable oils instead of margarine and
shortening whenever possible.
- The iron in plant foods is less absorbable (than
the iron in animal foods). Have some orange juice
or other vitamin C-rich food in the same meal to
help iron absorption.
- Eat a variety of vegetables on a weekly basis.
- If you pack lunch, add romaine or leaf lettuce
and tomato slices to your sandwich. Vegetable
soups can be very appetizing during the cold
months and they can be carried in a thermos.
Salads are easy to prepare; add canned beans or
chickpeas; carry the dressing separately.
- Pack fruit with your lunch. Apples, kiwis,
oranges, tangerines, pears travel well. Cut the
kiwi in half and scoop the flesh with a spoon.
- Cook with herbs and spices; sprinkle them in
salads, soups, dressings, etc.
- Explore new foods and recipes
tomatillos, daikon, papaya, passion fruit,
- Eat more grains
not only bread, rice, and
pasta. Try quinoa, bulgur, barley, couscous,
brown rice, kasha. These have become supermarket