The most important thing in eating is understanding how to extract the most vitamins and minerals from the foods you're eating.
Eating right doesn't just have to do with eating fruits and vegetables but understanding how to extract the most vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. So here are some of the few mistakes we make while trying too hard to eat right.
Before you pour yourself another cup of tea, make sure you're not also reaching for milk. Studies show that while the addition of dairy to black tea doesn't affect the herbal drink's antioxidants, it does negate any cardiovascular benefits you might have been hoping to reap. Milk proteins can bind with the catechins in tea, which can make the beneficial plant compounds more difficult for the body to absorb.
Unlike vitamin C, allicin—the cancer-fighting enzyme found in garlic—actually benefits from exposure to air. To that end, a consultant dietitian, chef, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sara Haas, RDN, recommends letting chopped garlic sit out for about 10 minutes before you toss it into any dish you're making so that the compound gets fully activated.
Whole grains and beans
Whole, unrefined grains and dried beans contain antioxidant compounds called phytates, which can bind to vitamins and minerals in food and prevent them from being absorbed by the body, explains Del Coro. "Intact whole grains that still have the outer layer [the bran], such as farro, freekeh, sorghum, and wheat berries, should be soaked in water overnight to help release the phytates," she says. "But this doesn't apply to semi-refined or unhulled types like pearled barley or instant oats." In addition to helping you get the maximum amount of nutrients like iron and zinc, the soaking process also means less work for your digestive tract.
You know that watery substance that you often find atop your yogurt? The one you probably pour down the sink? That contains protein and vitamin B12, along with minerals like calcium and phosphorus, says Haas. Rather. So instead of dumping the whey out, give your yogurt a quick stir so you retain all of its health benefits.
Fresh, ripe tomatoes add a burst of flavor to salads and sandwiches, but if you want to absorb their lycopene—the phytonutrient responsible for the fruit's cancer- and heart-disease-fighting properties—Haas says that you're better off cooking them. Cornell researchers also found that tomatoes' antioxidant content increases when they're heated to roughly 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Everyone loves a summer barbecue, but be wary of those "perfectly charred" cuts of meat."Grilling meat at high temperatures over an open flame may increase cancer risk," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, a registered dietitian practicing in New York City. The National Cancer Institute, warns that two potentially cancer-causing chemicals—heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)— are formed when meats are cooked using high-temperature methods like chargrilling. "Don't rely on the color of the cooked meat to gauge food safety. Use a food thermometer that shows that meats are cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature as recommended by the USDA," she says