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Myth-busting Monday – Boiling Reduces Vitamin Content of Foods?

December 16, 2011

Welcome back for another Myth-busting Monday by CakeNutrition! Every Monday I’ll dissect a new health and nutrition myth to reveal the fact or fiction behind them. Have a myth you want me to investigate? Submit them to or post them as a comment!

One of the most common cooking methods, boiling, is implicated in reducing the vitamin content of your foods, especially vegetables … but is this true?

Lets look at a couple of facts first. With any cooking method, you run the risk of losing some nutrients in food as heat does have a tendency to destroy some vitamins. But, this is a calculated risk, as cooking foods also reduces contaminants, kills bacteria, and makes many foods more palatable. However, with boiling in particular, you completely submerge the foods in water for an extended period of time. During this time, many water-soluble vitamins and nutrients (B’s, C, sodium, calcium, etc) leach out into the boiling water. Don’t worry too much, as there are still plenty of vitamins and minerals left in your veggies. But it turns out that this myth isn’t really a myth at all – boiling does in fact reduce the vitamin content of your vegetables.

Tips to reduce vitamin loss when cooking:

-Don’t thaw vegetable before boiling

-Use alternate methods like steaming


Yuan, Gao-feng et al. “Effects of different cooking methods on health-promoting compounds of broccoli*.” Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B 10.8 (2009): 580-588.
Nursal, B, and S Yücecan. “Vitamin C losses in some frozen vegetables due to various cooking methods.” Die Nahrung 44.6 (2000): 451-453. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
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