Roasting is a way of cooking that involves using dry heat to cook the food with an open flame, an oven, or another heat source.
Roasting is a very common method of cooking, and foods that are cooked that way are generally known as roasted foods.
It is one of the easiest cooking methods that enables the heat to do all the work and usually needs little or no involvement once the process has begun.
Roasting utilizes a process called the Maillard reaction, which ‘browns’ the food, giving it a tasty, caramelized taste.
Common foods that are usually roasted are meats, poultry, plantains, corn ears, potatoes, or other vegetables.
Roasting food is said to have many advantages. First, it improves the texture of the food and deepens the flavor of whatever you’re cooking.
Also, it takes advantage of the natural sugars in the food, making them sweeter and giving them a more concentrated taste.
However, there are also certain nutritional advantages or health benefits of roasted food. That is because different cooking methods can affect the quality, taste, and healthiness of the food.
In this blog post, we will explore the likely health benefits of roasting foods.
1. Minimizes loss of vitamin C
First of all, all forms of cooking can destroy some of the nutrients in the foods, such as vitamin C.
Nonetheless, compared to other cooking methods, roasting food can help reduce the amount of vitamin C lost while cooking the food.
According to medical studies, using minimal cooking water and cooking for shorter time periods will result in higher vitamin C retention, thus minimizing vitamin C loss.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that is necessary for the growth, immune system, development, and repair of all body tissues.
It is also involved in many body functions, such as the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Hence, it is imperative to get enough vitamin C daily, and roasting your food can ensure that.
2. Retains more B vitamins
Another nutrient that can be reduced through roasting are the B vitamins.
B vitamins are the most unstable nutrients whenever you are cooking. The reason is that they are water-soluble and leach out of vegetables into the cooking water.
Hence, if you boil your vegetables or microwave using too much water, you’ll end up with less thiamine, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
On the other hand, roasting the food will retain more of these B vitamins.
These B vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining good health, bodily functions, and well-being. They are all the building blocks of a healthy body and have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, as well as cell metabolism.
3. Requires less added fat
Another amazing reason why roasting is said to be healthier than other cooking methods, such as microwaving, shallow or deep-frying, is that it requires minimal amounts of oil to be added to the food. Therefore, there are lower fat and calories in the meal.
However, when it comes to nuts, roasting increases the fat and caloric content of most nuts, except for pistachio nuts.
4. Decreased risk of exposure to harmful bacteria
Compared to cooking, roasting offers a decreased risk of exposure to harmful bacteria that causes food poisoning.
Harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. are in food at temperatures between 40 to 140°F (5 to 60°C).
To kill these bacteria, it is vital to cook your foods to a safe internal temperature.
When roasting foods, the temperature can rise to about 140°F (76.°C), which is enough to kill most bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria.
5. Makes the food more delicious
Roasting is one of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare flavourful and nutritious dishes.
Roasting takes advantage of the natural sugars inside the food, giving them a sweeter and more concentrated taste.
Is roasting healthy?
So, in summary, roasting foods is a healthy way of cooking. It minimizes the loss of nutrients such as vitamin C and the B vitamins; it requires less or no added fat from oils and reduces the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria that causes food poisoning. Hence, there are some health benefits of roasting vegetables or other foods.
Roasted foods also have certain advantages or health benefits. However, they can also be side effects or disadvantages of roasted foods. Hence, you should make sure you find out how to roast healthily and consume in moderation.