ann's smart school THE BLOG

The Steam or Boiled Myth of Vegetable

6th January 2019

The consumption of the appropriate amount of vegetables each day may limit the risk of getting heart disease, cancer, obesity as well as Type 2 diabetes because it contains appropriate nutrient needed for keeping the body healthy. However, the use of wrong cooking methods may result to the loss of more than 50 percent of vitamins and 15 percent of minerals. According to various reports, boiling may be a relatively quick and easy way to cook your vegetables but in most scenario steaming may be better. Steaming vegetables does not require a steamer because you can easily achieve this with the aid of a lid and a splash of water but it is crucial to cut the vegetable small so as to ensure proper steaming.

Nutrient Retention

A study which was reported in the “Journal of Zhejiang University Science B” in 2009 found that steaming was the cooking method which resulted in the least loss of nutrients in broccoli, including vitamin C and beneficial plant chemicals such as chlorophyll and glucosinolates. Also steaming of vegetables does not result into the loss of folate from broccoli or spinach, boiling caused losses of more than 50 percent in a study published recently. Both boiling and steaming may increase the antioxidant content of vegetables but FAO reported that cooking makes these compounds more readily available to your body.

Anti-Nutrient Removal

The ability of boiling to leach substances out of food can be beneficial in some cases. This is because individuals with kidney stone may benefit from boiling vegetables which have high oxalates, which is a substance often found in these stones. Boiling can remove up to 87% of the oxalates in vegetables while steaming only remove about 53% of these anti-nutrients according to a report published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”. Vegetables have high content of oxalates including some green leafy vegetables, beets, sweet potatoes, lentils, okra as well as soybeans.

Texture and Palatability

Vegetables which have been steamed are not as nutritious as those that have been boiled but they also taste better. A blind taste test showed that people prefer the texture, taste as well as flavour of vegetables that have been steamed over those that have been boiled.


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