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4 Reasons You Need a Pressure Cooker

This is not your Grandma's exploding pressure cooker. Today's pressure cookers can make your life easier and your meals healthier.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
Episode #408

3.) Pressure cooking preserves more nutrients.

Many people worry that the increased pressure and cooking temperatures might be hard on nutrients in food. But in fact exactly the opposite is the case.  When it comes to heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and various B vitamins, pressure cooking can actually preserve significantly more nutrition than boiling or steaming, due to the drastically reduced cooking times.

To maximize nutrient content when pressure cooking vegetables, you also want to use as little water as possible, or choose recipes where the cooking liquid is consumed as part of the final dish.

To maximize nutrient content when pressure cooking vegetables, you also want to use as little water as possible, or choose recipes where the cooking liquid is consumed as part of the final dish.

4.) Pressure cooking makes minerals more bioavailable.  

Another nutritional advantage of pressure cooking is that It does a better job breaking down and deactivating the phytic acid in beans and whole grains. As I’ve talked about in previous podcasts, phytic acid is a naturally occurring compound in these foods which binds tightly to minerals and make them less absorbable. While any cooking method reduces phytic acid, pressure cooking beans and grains removes more than other cooking methods. So, you may get even more mineral nutrition from your legumes by using a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking also improves the digestibility of plant protein.

Tips for success

If you decide to get a pressure cooker, or you already have one, here are a few tips to ensure your success. Although it is possible to modify recipes to work in a pressure cooker, I suggest that you use recipes that have been developed specifically for pressure cooking and follow the instructions to the letter—at least until you are more familiar with the techniques.

But don’t limit yourself to the recipes that come in the little booklet that came with your unit. Because pressure cooking is so hot these days, the internet is full to bursting with pressure cooking recipe websites and cookbooks, with tons of creative and flavorful options.  Several members of my 30 Day Nutrition Upgrade group have recently gotten pressure cookers and are posting photographs and amazing looking recipes on a near daily basis!

If you are a new or experienced pressure cooker, feel free to share your tips, recipes, and/or questions on the Nutrition Diva Facebook page.

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