Raw or Cooked: Getting the Most Nutrients from Your Vegetables

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Most Nutrients from Your Vegetables

Raw or Cooked: Getting the Most Nutrients from Your Vegetables

It’s a given: vegetables are good for you and you should be eating them everyday. It’s been ingrained in our minds by our parents, teachers, and doctors all our lives! But no one ever talks about how to get the most out of your veggies. Unfortunately, we all missed the memo about there being some vegetables better eaten cooked and others are better eaten raw.

Asparagus: eat it cooked. Steaming the asparagus, or baking it with a little olive oil and a pinch of pepper, ignites its cancer-fighting potential.

Beets: eat them raw. Unfortunately, when exposed to heat, as in cooking, beets lose more than 25 percent of their folate. Eating them raw will actually preserve the full benefit of all the folate in beets.

Broccoli: eat it raw. I am a complete fan of steamed broccoli so this one hurts the most. Sadly, when heat is applied to broccoli it deactivates an enzyme called, myrosinase, which helps to cleanse your liver of carcinogens, activators of cancer.

Mushrooms: eat them cooked. I love—cooked—mushrooms! So to know that I can sauté, boil, grill, or roast them while still getting the very most of the nutrients out of them is like music to my ears. In fact, cooking mushrooms helps bring out more muscle-building potassium!

Onions: eat them raw. The great thing about onions is that they taste great whether or not they are cooked. With onions though, slicing them and eating them as is helps prolong hunger cravings.

Red peppers: eat them raw. Personally, I like my peppers cooked or at least roasted but its level of Vitamin C begins to dwindle when exposed to a heat above 375 degrees. Maybe a low simmer for a short amount of time won’t remove a significant amount of Vitamin C….or maybe I’ll just cook them as I like them and eat an orange before bed time….

Spinach: eat it cooked. I love spinach thrown into a salad; it adds variety! But cooking spinach actually helps you to absorb more of its calcium, iron, and magnesium. While eating it raw has all its benefits, cooking them actually gives you more.

Tomatoes: eat them….COOKED. Shocker! I was just as surprised to hear that cooking your tomatoes helps your body to absorb more of their cancer-fighting ingredient called lycopene. Tomatoes are great raw though; I eat them like I eat an apple.

Now you know! Veggies are great for you and your body regardless of whether or not they are eaten raw or cooked. You can’t go wrong eating a veggie in its raw form; cooking is the only form in which a vegetable may loose its nutrients. Fortunately, there are an abundance of recipes to enjoy these veggies in both their raw and cooked forms.

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