(HealthDay News) -- Cooking vegetables properly can help maintain peak nutrition. On the other hand, overcooking them may cause valuable vitamins and nutrients to go down the drain, experts say.

The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition offers this advice:

  • Use a soft brush and water to clean produce with thick skins. By contrast, soaking them may cause some nutrients to dissolve in the water.
  • Steam produce instead of cooking in water.
  • If you do cook produce in water, save the water for later use.
  • Microwave vegetables, as the shorter cooking time may help keep key nutrients.