Pressure cookers are capable of reducing the cooking time by almost one third and are also quite efficient in terms of saving energy. However, do they do all this at the cost of health? The answer to this question is a big NO! Instead, pressure cookers have prove to be beneficial for health as the food cooked through pressure cooking is more nutritional as compared to that cooked through conventional cooking methods. Discussed below are some reasons due to which pressure cooking has been proved to be nutritional as well:
Reduced Cooking Times lead to Preserving Nutrients
Research shows that there has not been any difference between higher and lower cooking temperatures in terms of destroying the nutrients. Heat sensitive nutrients are destroyed regardless of the cooking temperatures and instead of temperature; it’s the cooking time that matters. Pressure cookers decrease the cooking time and thereby better preserve the nutrients, even though cooking at higher temperatures.
Using Less Water Preserves Nutrients
When cooking vegetables in water, nutrients are passed from vegetables to water. As compared to various other cooking methods, pressure cooking uses quite lesser water. Less water comes into contact with food while pressure cooking and hence leaches away less vitamins and minerals. Moreover, if the natural release method is used for cooling the pressure cooker, the steam condenses back in the liquid contained in the pressure cooker. Through consuming this liquid with the meal, the loss of nutrients to water could be further limited.
No Formation of Carcinogens while Pressure Cooking
When cooking particular foods such as potatoes on high-temperature, carcinogenic compounds are formed such as acrylomides. These compounds are formed during situations of ultra high temperature such as deep frying or cooking methods that are dry such as grilling or roasting. However, a pressure cooker prevents the formation of these compounds as steam is trapped within the pressure cooker.
Legumes, Seeds, and Grains are More Digestible when Pressure Cooked
As compared to boiling, pressure cooking facilitates reduction of anti-nutrients found in legumes, grains, and seeds. One of the anti nutrients, phytic acid, binds important nutrients and minerals in the digestive tract and prevents us from using them. Pressure cooking reduces phytic acid much more than boiling and other forms of conventional cooking and thereby enhances the nutrient-availability and digestibility of legumes, seeds, and grains. Along with phytic acid, lectins is another anti nutrient present in grains. Pressure cooking considerably reduces lectins as well and is hence considered to be equal to fermentation.