Waterless Cooking For Optimum Nutrition in ME/CFS
As I indicated earlier, diet is very important for a healthy lifestyle and good nutritional absorbtion is vital to help our bodies repair and overcome ME/CFS. Presently my nutritionist has prescribed a selection of 12 different supplements to improve my body balance and to aid the healing process.
We are advised to buy the freshest possible foods and even organic, if budget allows. So we buy these expensive, organic, fresh vegetables and free range chickens and therefore surely we need to prepare them correctly in order to get the optimum nutritional value from them. This is where it gets a little technical for me and so I intend to hand over to my husband to explain!
In my quest to help my wife overcome her debilitating illness, ME/CFS I have researched quite a few different topics. I would like to share with you all my findings on waterless cooking.
What is waterless cooking you might ask? Well the first thing is, it isn't waterless! Waterless cooking means cooking with very little water, or oil at very low temperatures (the moisture within the vegetables is almost sufficient). This method of cooking leaves your vegetables tasting as nature intended - you don't need to over season to make them appealing. Your vegetables will be as colourful and fresh as when you first put them in the pot. Usually vegetables lose most of their flavour and nutritional value in the excessive amount of water we boil them in. Look at all that goodness going to waste - we pay for the best and through poor cooking habits throw all that goodness away. ME/CFS sufferers need all the nutritional help they can get in order to progress along the healing path.
Here are a few facts I have discovered:
Almost 50% or more of the nutrients in food are lost when boiled
Your meat and poultry will shrink 70% less with waterless cooking
When you prepare chicken with oil 60% of the flavour goes into the oil
The three great destroyers of food value are 1. Water (the great robber of food) 2. Oil (disolves the vitamins out of your food) 3. High heat (destroys the vital enzymes).
Any of these factors can make your food taste dull. Water and oil strip the nutrients from food. The high heat destroys the vitamins and enzymes. With waterless and oil less cooking, all three of these dangers to your food are avoided.
After extensive research I was suitably persuaded to purchase some 'waterless' cookware. My research highlighted some alarming facts about the cookware most of us use. Aluminium cookware is very popular, but clearly the most dangerous. Aluminium is a dirty metal which dissolves into your food when you cook. It has been linked to headaches, cold sores, diabetes, alzheimers and cancer. I have read that doctors have found that alzheimers sufferers have 10 to 30 times the normal amount of aluminium in their brains. In the last two years my father was diagnosed with this terrible condition and I knew that my mother had used aluminium pots for many years. I was shocked to see the condition of the pots when I checked them. Although spotlessly clean, all the surfaces had small black pits in them where the aluminium had dissolved over the years - coincidence? draw your own conclusions.
Iron cookware and 'Teflon' pots and pans are both said to have their own health risks, so the main one left to check out was stainless steel cookware. Apparently, not just any stainless steel will do. The recommended type to use for waterless cookware is T304 surgical stainless steel with titanium, either 5 or 7 ply construction. This distributes the heat evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the cooking utensil. This type of cookware is not cheap when compared with everyday cookware, but you have to ask yourself, are you and your family worth the extra pounds to ensure they are eating healthily? Some of the benefits of these products far outway the initial cost e.g. lifetime guarentee, savings on electricity and gas as you only ever have to cook on a medium to low heat, the pans can be stacked for cooking.
So does it work? Well, we purchased our set from ebay via America. With shipping costs and custom tax added a little under £300 for a 17 piece set. This way of cooking took a little getting used to because it is difficult to get out of the habit of drowning your vegetables in water and cooking on full heat. However, it does work! Food is far tastier, you only use 4 tablespoons of water and you cook on a medium and then low heat. I wouldn't have believed you could cook a 2kg chicken in a pot (Dutch Oven) on top of the cooker, on a low heat, but it works and tastes fantastic!
You might be able to reduce the price if you go direct to the supplier. I have included a link for you to try.
There are many to choose from, but I found this one to be the cheapest and I am very happy with the product and the end results.
I am sure that cooking in this way will help many ME/CFS sufferers get the most nutritional value from their food and help them on the sometimes long road to recovery.
*For all who read my blog, It would be amazing if you could forward my link http://dld.bz/mBZq to as many people as you know (twitter/facebook/your email list etc). You will then be doing your own bit for ME/CFS awareness and spreading the word to people who one day might just need it!* x