Over the last decade, I must have heard the myth that pressure cooking food is bad for your health thousands of times. Not only in the comment sections of pressure cooker review sites, but also by self proclaimed nutritional experts. It is a myth that I never believed but one that seemed to persist despite my objections.
All of these objections were based on the assumption that cooking at higher temperatures somehow damages the nutritional value of food. That mankind has been cooking at relatively low temperatures over an open fire for thousands of years and therefore could only ingest foods cooked at lower temperatures. Which I always believed to be completely ridiculous.
Now science has confirmed my belief that pressure cooking isn’t bad for human health. In fact, it has even taken it a step further. It has proven that it is actually a healthier form of cooking. In a recently published scientific study, it has been shown that pressure cooking actually preserved most of the nutrients destroyed by traditional cooking methods. It showed that pressure cooked broccoli retained over ninety percent of its vitamin c. Contrast this with steaming (which only preserves seventy-eight percent of vitamin c) and boiling (which only preserves sixty-seven percent of vitamin c), and you can clearly see pressure cooking is the best method of cooking food.
That might seem counter-intuitive since pressure cookers do cook at a higher temperature than other cooking methods, but it makes sense when you really think about it. It might use a higher temperature, but it uses it for a much shorter period of time. Which means that the foods aren’t exposed to these high temperatures long enough for their nutrients to break down. Sure, if you overcook your food to the consistency of baby food, then you are going to use a lot of nutrients. However, that is true of any cooking method. When used properly, pressure cookers retain the nutritional value of foods better.
Another advantage that pressure cookers have over traditional cooking methods is they use less water. Water is usually the main culprit when you talk about nutrients being removed from your vegetables. That is why experts say that you should steam your veggies instead of boiling them because water leeches vitamins and minerals from food. Well, I am here to tell you that you should probably be pressure cooking them instead.
If you’ve just read this article and need more proof that pressure cooking is better for you than previously thought, then I will cite one more study. A study done in the nineties that said that it was better to pressure cook peas than boiling them because pressure cookers break down Phytic acid and make the peas more digestible. Do you need any more reasons to break out your best pressure cooker and using it to make all of your meals? I don’t think so. These devices can be a great tool to help you manage your health by helping your food retain more of its nutritional value.