Many food preparation methods include grilling, frying, searing, boiling, roasting, and steaming.
In recent years, steaming food has become popular because there are many benefits.
Today, we want to discuss the benefits of steaming food and why this is a good idea.
The 8 Benefits of Steaming Food
As you are about to find out, there are numerous benefits to steaming food, some of which may seem obvious and others that aren’t quite as apparent at first glance.
Steaming Food Helps Vegetable Retain Essential Nutrients
The primary benefit of using steam for cooking is that it helps food retain as much of its nutritional value as possible.
The nutrients inside vegetables can be pretty fragile; many nutrients are water-soluble or sensitive to extreme heat.
This means that if you boil, bake, or roast your vegetables, many nutrients can be dissolved in the water or burnt away.
These include vitamins C and B, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
Steaming your food also helps preserve up to 90% of the natural antioxidants found in vegetables.
When you steam your food, it will contain many more nutrients than if that food is boiled or cooked using another method.
Also, read, do steaming food destroy nutrients?
Steaming Food Can Help You Fight Cancer
Many vegetables contain compounds that can help fight cancer, known as glucosinolates.
However, those cancer-fighting compounds are destroyed when food is overcooked, particularly for too long at high temperatures.
However, if you steam your food with just a little water and keep the temperature at a minimum, your vegetables will retain those crucial cancer-fighting substances.
This will reduce your chances of developing cancer, which may be the most significant benefit you get from steaming your food.
Steaming Meat Helps Remove Fat and Cholesterol
An interesting fact about food steamers is that not only are they ideal for cooking vegetables, but for cooking meat as well.
This is because when you cook meat other ways, much of the fat stays in the meat.
Eating that fat means consuming excessive calories, leading to weight gain and other serious health ramifications.
For example, consuming too much fat will cause your cholesterol to increase and may also increase your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
When meat is steamed, particularly at high temperatures, most of the fat is removed from the meat.
This is true for pork, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, and other meats. When you steam your meat, it literally melts the fat out of the meat.
However, if you pan or deep fry, you cook it into the meat instead of removing that fat.
Steaming meat helps to reduce the fat and cholesterol content and also helps keep the caloric value to a minimum.
Steaming Food Does Not Require Oil
Steaming food is also beneficial because it does not require any oil to cook the food.
Other cooking methods, frying, pan drying, roasting, or baking, usually require oil. Oil is not healthy to consume, especially in large quantities.
It can increase your blood cholesterol levels, cause weight gain, and lead to other health concerns.
However, when you steam food, you use water vapor, eliminating extra calories and unhealthy fats you would be consuming if using a different cooking method.
Steaming Food is Quick, Easy, and Convenient
The next benefit of steaming your food is that it is quick and easy. Unlike pan or deep frying and baking, you don’t have to worry about your food burning or sticking to the cooking surface.
With a steamer, simply place the food in the steamer basket, set the timer, turn the steamer on, and let the food cook.
Also, steaming food tends to take less time for food to cook than other cooking methods.
Therefore, you can save time by steaming your food. Setting up a steamer is also less hassle than using a pan or baking dish.
Steaming Food Helps Soften Fibers and Keep Food Moist
Food has a much better texture when it has been steamed compared to other cooking methods.
When food is steamed, it gets softer than other cooking methods because steaming loosens and breaks down the fibrous components in the food.
When these fibers are broken down, food becomes softer and tenderer. This applies to vegetables and meat alike.
So steaming is the best method if you like soft, tender food. Also, steaming your food will keep it moist and juicy.
When baking, pan, and deep frying, much moisture is removed from the food.
The result is often dry and tough food, which does not happen when you steam those same foods.
Steaming Food is Economically Friendly
Moreover, steaming your food is very economically friendly because you can steam many different foods at once if you have the right kind of food steamer.
Most food steamers have baskets you can stack on top of each other.
This means you can cook many layers of food and dishes in a steamer.
So instead of using three pots, pans, and three burners for cooking, you just need a single steamer.
This helps cut down on the number of cooking dishes needed, the water required for cooking, and the amount of electricity used.
This all comes together to help you save a good bit of money.
You Can Steam All Sorts of Food
The final benefit you get from steaming food is that this cooking method can be used for virtually any food.
For example, you can steam various meat, vegetables, and more. In addition, you can steam your meat, rice, brown rice, and vegetables in one cooking tool.
This versatility means putting together thousands of meal combinations using a food steamer.
Related: How to steam a cake without a steamer.
As you can see, there are many benefits to steaming your food.
It’s much healthier, faster, cheaper, and more convenient to steam food than using other cooking methods.
And, of course, nearly all foods can be steamed.
Also, see the Food steamer vs. air fryer.