Is It Healthier To Eat Vegetables Raw Or Cooked?

August 2, 2017

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The USDA recommends you eat one to two cups of vegetables per day.  Not only are they part of a balanced diet but they're packed with nutrients and vitamins.  However some veggies are healthier when you cook them and some shine when they're raw.  Take for instance the tomato, is it better to eat them raw or cooked?  In the case of tomatoes, cooking them releases more of the lycopene, which is the nutrient linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart attacks. Other veggies that are healthier cooked than raw are mushrooms and Asparagus. But what about broccoli and cauliflower?  They both are packed with cancer-fighting chemicals called glucosinolates as well as an enzyme called myrosinase, which can boost your immune system. Cooking destroys these enzymes, so they should be eaten raw or at the very most, lightly cooked to preserve their positive properties.  Onions too are also better for you raw.  The same enzymes that make you cry are beneficial to your health and are destroyed with heat. Kale is also better for you raw than cooked.  Fortunately, peppers, carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and spinach are good eaten raw or cooked.  And the best way to cook vegetables is with steam, with a steamer or pressure-cooker. Sautéing can also be surprisingly healthy, because many of the vitamins and nutrients in vegetables are fat soluble, which means that the body absorbs them better when there is fat present. Boiling is the worst as those nutrients leak out into the water you toss out. Remember to cook your veggies for the least amount of time as possible.

SOURCE: Good Housekeeping

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