Ask Dr Libby

Waitaki Herald - - YOUR HEALTH -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

An­other point you may wish to con­sider is the im­pact cook­ing can have on the bioavail­abil­ity of the nu­tri­ents in veg­eta­bles. Some vi­ta­mins are heat sen­si­tive (par­tic­u­larly vi­ta­min C), so cook­ing will lead to some losses.

How­ever, the ex­tent to which heat-sen­si­tive nu­tri­ents are lost de­pends on the cook­ing method; boil­ing veg­eta­bles will lead to much greater losses than lightly steam­ing them, for ex­am­ple. Con­versely, cook­ing veg­eta­bles can in­crease the bioavail­abil­ity of an­tiox­i­dants such as be­tac­arotene and ly­copene. So if both raw and cooked veg­eta­bles nour­ish you, a com­bi­na­tion is great!

But if you feel bet­ter eat­ing only cooked veg­eta­bles, then I en­cour­age you to do just that. To re­tain more nu­tri­ents, avoid over­cook­ing or cook­ing in ex­ces­sive amounts of water, as water-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins can leach out.

Re­mem­ber, the most nu­tri­tious veg­eta­bles are the ones that you ac­tu­ally eat (and di­gest well).So, rather than wor­ry­ing about whether you should be eat­ing them raw or cooked, just do your best to fo­cus on eat­ing plenty of colour­ful veges every day.

Q: What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween reg­u­lar black tea and green tea? Is it only green tea that has health ben­e­fits? – Sam

A: Black tea and green tea are both pro­duced from the Camel­lia sinen­sis bush, and it is what hap­pens to the leaves af­ter they are picked that de­ter­mines whether they end up as green or black tea. Not only do the dif­fer­ent pro­cess­ing tech­niques af­fect the colour and taste of the teas, they also af­fect the com­po­si­tion (the sub­stances that are present in the dif­fer­ent teas).

Do your best to eat plenty of colour­ful veges every day.

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