Foods like soups and casseroles often taste even better then next day. But how much nutritional value is there in reheated leftovers?
Q. "My sister-in-law made chili on Saturday for a family get-together on Sunday. We reheated the chili on Sunday for the party and then my husband and I ate the rest of it on Monday. I'm wondering if there were any nutrients left in it by that point?"
A. Yes, there were plenty of nutrients left in your reheated chili. (Plus, chili often tastes even better the next day.) Some nutrients, such as protein and most of the minerals, are relatively unaffected by heat. And because heating, cooling, and reheating beans and grains can convert some of the starch into a resistant form, the leftover chili might even have been a bit higher in fiber than the original.
See also: Why Leftover Pasta Is Good for You
Some nutrients, such as vitamin C, are partially degraded by heat. Your chili will be slightly lower in vitamin C every time you reheat it. The lycopene in the tomatoes, on the other hand, is made more bioavailable by cooking.
Assuming that you're starting with reasonably healthy foods, nutrient losses from reheating aren't worth worrying about. In fact, making a meal out of leftovers can be a great time (and money) saver!