The question that presents a dilemma in the minds of many people is whether pressure cookers make healthy foods. Conflicting perspectives exist about the issue. Certain individuals believe pressure cooking is related to unhealthy foods. Others believe pressure cooking leads to healthy foods. So, which perspective is true? To address this issue competently, it is important to understand common misconceptions about pressure cooking, how a pressure cooker works, and research evidence that supports or discredits the ability of pressure cookers to yield healthy foods.
The best pressure cooker uses heat and steam to cook food quickly. The cooking process is directed by increased pressure as opposed to increased heat. Most people tend to think pressure cooking is time efficient due to increase heat. Since pressure cooking depends on increased pressure, a pressure cooker has the ability to cook food while maintaining relatively low heat. The low heat leads to insignificant or no loss of nutrients in pressure cooked food. Thus pressure cooked food is very healthy and has plenty of nutrients.
A study conducted in 1994 and published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition journal affirmed the benefits of pressure cooking. Findings from the study suggest that pressured cooked vegetables such as amaranth and spinach resulted in better preservation of their vitamin C and beta carotene content.
A study conducted in 2007 and published in Food Science journal revealed superior preservation of vitamin C (90%) when broccoli was subjected to pressure cooking.
A study documented in Food, Science and Technology journal suggested that pressure cooking emphasized the nutritional value in bananas. The final outcome of pressure cooking bananas was a boost in phenolic nutrients contained in bananas.
Research experts point out that pressure cooking starchy foods such as potatoes for as long as 20 minutes does not lead to development of carcinogenic compounds.
In winding up, pressure cooking does not completely assure healthy foods. All cooking methods lead to loss of nutrients and pressure cooking is no exception. Some nutrients are drained away. However, the benefits related to pressure cooking outweigh any evident demerits. As a matter of fact, pressure cooking retains more nutrients leading to healthy foods.