Leftover foods may have been a respite in the course of sudden hunger pangs during odd hours of the day. All you need to do is to reheat and savour them without having to waste any extra minute in cooking. But wait, have you ever wondered if the foods that you are reheating are safe to eat anymore? Well, some every day foods that we consume may not be as safe after being reheated as they tend to lose their nutritional value. Yes, you heard us. According to Nutritionist Lokendra Tomar from Weight Loss Clinic, Delhi, "Here's a golden rule of reheating food - never ever reheat high-protein foods."
Read on as we list down foods suggested by Lokendra Tomar that you must stop reheating right now. Take a look -
1. Vegetables with High Amounts of Nitrates
If you have spinach or any green leafy vegetables, carrot, turnip or even celery, avoid reheating them in the microwave. These nitrate rich vegetables when heated again can turn toxic, releasing carcinogenic properties, which are generally cancerous in nature. Spinach contains high amount of iron, hence heating and reheating spinach may oxidize the iron present in spinach. Oxidation of iron generates dangerous free radicals which are known to cause many diseases including infertility and cancer.
Nitrate rich vegetables heated again can turn toxic, releasing carcinogenic properties Photo Credit: Istock
You may be surprised, but rice comes under this category too. According to Foods Standards Agency (FSA), you could suffer from food poisoning by eating reheated rice. This is due to the presence of highly resistant bacteria called Bacillus Cereus. Heat kills these bacteria, but it can produce spores that are toxic in nature. Once rice is reheated and is left out at room temperature, any spores it contains can multiply, further causing food poisoning on consumption.
(Also read: 5 Popular Varieties of Rice from the South Indian Kitchen)
3. Eggs Heat kills these bacteria, but it can produce spores that are toxic in nature
We all know, eggs are a rich source of protein, however, cooked egg or boiled egg can cause serious harm when exposed to heat again and again. Once you have cooked eggs, eat them immediately but if it is kept for a longer period, don't reheat, rather just eat cold because high protein food contains lot of nitrogen. This nitrogen may get oxidised due to reheating, further causing cancer.
(Also read: Cloud Eggs: A Unique Way of Making Eggs is Going Viral)
4. Chicken Once you have cooked eggs, eat them immediately
You would know, piping hot chicken does taste so delectable, however, if you are saving the curry for the next day, do remember to not heat it again and again. The protein composition in this staple completely changes when it is taken out of the refrigerator to heat. This can cause problems in the digestive system. Make sure you are not heating it on high temperature.
(Also read: 10 Simple Ways to Keep Chicken Moist and Flavorsome)
5. Potatoes The protein composition in this staple completely changes
Potatoes being a staple are the best and easiest to store, reheat and consume. Unfortunately, you would need to think again. Potatoes are a rich source of vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C, however, if they are reheated again and again, chances are they might produce Clostridium Botulinum (bacteria causing Botulism). Even if you leave the cooked potatoes out in room temperature, the production of bacteria will only increase. So if you want to avoid the growth of bacteria, best is to keep them refrigerated or throw them away if not being consumed within 1-2 days.
6. Mushroom Potatoes are a rich source of vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C
It is recommended to eat mushrooms as soon they are prepared. Ideally, they shouldn't be stored to consume next day as it is a powerhouse of proteins and have generous amounts of minerals and by reheating them, you are breaking these proteins further, causing havoc in your digestive system. Hence heating them will generate toxins which contains oxidized nitrogen and free radicals. Even if you are keen on storing mushrooms for the next day, make sure you eat them cold.
(Also read: 5 Amazing Reasons to Add Mushrooms to Your Daily Meals)
7. Cold Pressed Oil It is recommended to eat mushrooms as soon they are prepared
One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid is cold pressed oil like flaxseed oil, olive oil and canola oil. Omega-3 fat is very sensitive to temperature as it breaks and becomes rancid above 40 degree centigrade. Therefore, never heat cold pressed oil before consumption.
(Also read: Will Re-Using leftover Cooking Oil Harm Your Family? Read This)
Storage of foods plays a vital role in keeping them safe and edible enough. So if you are planning on storing them, keep in the refrigerator to avoid production of bacteria that may turn harmful for your health. One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid is cold pressed oil