Raw vs Cooked Vegetables: The Healthiest Ways to Eat Your Veggies

Raw or cooked — which is best ? The truth may be different than you think… When it comes to raw vs cooked vegetables, what are the healthiest ways to eat them to get the most nutrients? Learn what the science and the experts say about the best ways to prepare your veggies to get the most benefits.
Raw diets have been getting a lot of care. Some people believe eating raw foods means you ’ re getting more nutrients. Or that cooking food kills the natural enzymes in plants, adenine well as the vitamins and minerals .
On the early pass, other people say cooked foods are easier on your digestion, are healthier, and sometimes taste better.

so what ’ s the truth about raw v cooked vegetables ? How should you be eating your veggies to get the most benefits ?

Are More Nutrients Always Better?

bare-assed vegetables much contain more nutrients. so naturally, many people think they ’ re healthier for you. And, sometimes, that ’ mho true. But the reality is more complex .
When it comes to the good-for-you components of foods, Michael Greger, MD, says : “It’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.”
A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when women followed either an average western diet, a wholesome nutriment diet ( based on healthy dietary recommendations ), or a raw food diet, more nutrients weren’t always better .
For exercise, participants in the raw food diet group consumed more beta-carotene per day than any early group. But participants in the wholesome nutrition diet group absorbed the most of this critical antioxidant .
When you cook your veggies, you lose some nutrients. But others become more available for your body to use .

Raw vs Cooked: Some of the Benefits of Cooked Vegetables

In addition to obviously supplying you with more absorbable beta-carotene, as mentioned in the study above, cooked veggies give your torso more of certain early antioxidants, such as lutein ( which is good for your eyes ) and lycopene ( which helps protect your heart and your bones ) .
Cooked vegetables can also give you more minerals. Heating releases bound calcium, making more of the mineral available for the body to absorb. And the dispute can be significant. Cooked spinach has 245 mg/cup of calcium, while raw spinach entirely has 30 mg/cup !
Cooking can have early benefits excessively. A 2009 study published by the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology journal and conducted by Harvard University showed that cook :

  • Aids chewing
  • Increases digestibility, and
  • Improves the net energy value of foods

Plus, some evidence suggests that cooked foods contributed to the evolution of the human brain because it “ greatly increases the thermal yield of the diet, as a consequence of the greater ease of chew, digestion, and absorption of foods. ”
With many vegetables, the best way to prepare them is the room that gets you to eat them. If cooking them means you ’ ll eat more, that could be a very beneficial thing .

9 Foods That May Be More Nutritious When Cooked

sometimes, adding heat makes veggies better for you in some ways. here are nine vegetables that might be better for you when cooked :


This dark fleeceable leafy vegetable shrinks up when cooked, which makes it easier to eat more. And more spinach equals more nutrients ! Spinach contains oxalic acerb, which can hurt your soundbox ’ second absorption of calcium and cast-iron. But steaming spinach has been shown to cut the oxalic acid by five to 53 %. Steaming besides allows the spinach to retain its vitamin bc contentedness, a B-vitamin that helps your consistency produce DNA .


A 2009 discipline published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology found that cooking asparagus increased its antioxidant and cancer-fighting action ( including phenols, quercetin, rutin, beta-carotene, xanthophyll, and zeaxanthin ) by 16 to 25 %. And a 2009 analyze published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that cooking asparagus increased the level of two types of phenolic resin acerb, which has been linked to lower cancer rates .


Lycopene ( found in many red and pink pigmented foods ) is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, and has been linked to lower levels of cancer and heart attacks. A 2002 cogitation published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that cooking actually boosted the measure of lycopene in tomatoes. besides, lycopene is a fat-soluble antioxidant, which means it ’ s better absorbed by your torso when consumed with some healthy form of fat .


Mushrooms retain more antioxidants when cooked. A 2006 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that using heat significantly enhanced the overall antioxidant activities of Shiitake mushrooms. Additionally, some types of natural mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic kernel called agaritine. Joel Fuhrman, MD, says cook mushrooms for even a few minutes gets rid of most of the balmy toxins they contain .


In general, raw potatoes contain a draw of repellent starch, which can cause boast and bloat. Raw potatoes besides have anti-nutrients ( which can interfere with the preoccupation of keystone vitamins and minerals ) that decrease during cook .

Carrots, Celery, and Green Beans

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science found two vegetables that actually become fitter with cooking — carrots and celery. green beans did, excessively, except when they were boiled or pressure cooked. Cooking and pureeing carrots (with the skins on) can multiply their antioxidant power threefold ! Roasting can besides boost nutrients .


Most legumes can’t be eaten raw, though some can be sprouted as an alternative to cooking. Some beans ( red kidney beans in particular ) contain a specific lectin that can cause gastrointestinal issues ; however, cooking deactivates this compound. nutritionally, a 2013 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that both sprouting and cooking beans improved some of their health benefits including their neuroprotective and anticancer effects .

Which Cooking Methods Should You Avoid?

Frying creates absolve radicals and carcinogens, which do major damage to your cells .
Fried foods besides much contain trans fats, which are unsaturated fats that have been hydrogenated and are linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and fleshiness .
And when it comes to preserving the antioxidants in your vegetables, steaming is better than boiling .
Why ? Because when you boil foods, some of the nutrients get lost in the water. In fact, in a 2009 analyze, 14 % of antioxidants were lost on average across 20 vegetables when boiled .
With that said, eating more of the boil vegetables can make up for the personnel casualty. besides, keeping the water and using it to cook grains means you can still absorb those good-for-you compounds !

Raw vs Cooked: Reasons to Eat Raw Vegetables

Eating the phytonutrients found in plant foods has been associated with reduce risks of certain chronic diseases, such as center disease and stroke, cancer, and age-related eye disease .
But many of these beneficial compounds can be destroyed by heating and many types of food action .
In addition, water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, leach out during the cooking process. According to a 2007 review published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, you lose as much as 55% of the vitamin C in vegetables during cooking, compared to eating them naked .
Eating raw vegetables may besides help boost mental health and relieve symptoms of depression. A 2018 learn published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that people who consumed more produce in its natural, uncooked state reported higher levels of psychological well-being compared to those who ate mostly cooked alternatives .
For those who are watching their weight, eating raw produce can be beneficial because it requires more chew — thus slowing down the consume serve .

What About the Enzymes in Raw Food?

Advocates for raw or by and large raw diets frequently point out that raw plant foods carry natural enzymes. These enzymes have digestive and early health benefits which are destroyed when heated. And from a certain position, they ’ re right .
heating system does destroy enzymes. But we make our own digestive enzymes, and healthy people have no trouble synthesizing the enzymes they need for digestion. In addition, most plant enzymes get destroyed in the human gut, anyhow .
sol while there may be some digestive benefit from eating the enzymes that come with raw fruits and vegetables, there’s little evidence to support the notion that this is a major reason to eat raw foods. There are, of course, early good reasons to include enough of bare-assed foods in your diet .
The best way to ensure you have plenty of enzymes to support your digestion is by nurturing your overall digestive health. ( For avail improving your gut health, read this article. )

4 Foods You May Want to Eat Raw, At Least Sometimes

Raw vs Cooked Vegetables: The Healthiest Ways to Eat Your Veggies
These are some of the foods that have bigger benefits for you ( at least for some nutrients ) when you eat them crude. Of course, they are fantastic fudge, besides.

  • Bell Peppers — Whether you like your peppers red, green, or orange, it’s better to eat them raw. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science found that bell peppers lost up to 75% of their antioxidants when cooked.
  • Broccoli — According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw broccoli contains three times the amount of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane.
  • Onions — While cooked onions have plenty of health benefits, raw onions contain antiplatelet agents, which protect against heart disease.
  • Garlic — Raw garlic contains special sulfur compounds which have an anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) effect. A 2001 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that cooking can destroy these sulfur compounds.

Why Too Many Raw Crucifers Can Harm Your Health

Can excessively much kale be a bad thing ? Sometimes it can .
Eating excessively many naked crucifers can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland gland doesn ’ thymine make enough of the thyroid hormones .
How much is besides much ? According to 1993 cogitation published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 10 cups of raw kale a day on a regular basis is credibly the specify .
Plus, the measure varies for different types of cruciferous veggies .
Dr. Michael Greger says, “ You could probably get away with, theoretically, 50 cups of natural cauliflower a day. But good three cups of raw mustard greens a day. ” Another study found that a woman eating 15 cups of raw bok choy daily for several weeks went into a hypothyroid coma .
But reasonable amounts of raw cruciferous vegetables should be fine. And the goitrogenic properties of kale and other cruciferous veggies dissipate when you cook them. So a better overture is to switch up your greens, eat some naked and some cooked, and to consume a wide variety of colorful vegetables .

How to Get the Most Benefits from Cooked Cruciferous Vegetables and Garlic

If you want to cook broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, rutabaga, turnip greens, and rocket, here are three science-backed steps you can take to maximize their health benefits :

  • Pre-chop them first and let them sit for 40 minutes before cooking
  • Add some mustard seed powder (or some daikon radish, horseradish, or wasabi) after cooking, or
  • Add a small amount of fresh, raw cruciferous veggies to your cooked ones

And here’s how to get the most benefit from cooked garlic :

  • Cancer-fighting allicin is relatively heat-stable. If you want to cook garlic, crush or chop it, then wait 10 minutes before cooking. This will allow the allicin to form.

Can A Raw Food Diet Be Beneficial for Health?

A raw food diet typically contains 70 % ( or sometimes 100 % ) of food that hasn ’ metric ton been cooked or processed. To be considered bare-assed, food can ’ thymine reach above 104 degrees Fahrenheit ( 40 degrees Celsius ) when heated. rather, people eating a bare-assed food diet consume a lot of newly, dehydrated, and fermented foods .
Thousands of anecdotal reports exist of people using raw diets to cure conditions, such as acne, autoimmune disorders, candida, cancer, IBS, and numerous early ailments. however, few scientific studies exist to support these claims .
here are a copulate of studies that have shown positive results :

  • A 2000 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology found that a low-salt, raw vegan diet helped alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • A 2009 study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that people who stayed for one to three weeks at a raw, vegan retreat center saw improved mental and emotional health.

Why Raw Food Diets May Not Be Beneficial Long-Term

While raw food diets have been found to give remarkable results in the short-term, they are difficult to follow. Raw diets are also typically time-intensive — and they don’t seem to support long-term health .
Chris Wark used a raw food diet ( including his cancer-fighting salad and his anti-cancer smoothie ), along with life style changes, to beat cancer. But he says, “ Raw food can be healing, but it’s not sustainable long-term. ”
Dr. Michael Greger says the cause switching to a raw food diet can improve health is because it ’ s an highly healthy diet .
He says, “ One of the benefits that raw diets have over vegan diets is [ they ] cut out all the crap. ” ( Like vegan marshmallows and donuts. )
Researchers have besides found that long-term adherence to a raw diet can lead to a high loss of body weight, which can cause health issues from being scraggy, including amenorrhea in women — a condition in which menstruation ceases .
And a 2005 survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine associated a 100 % natural, plant-based diet with a lower cram mass — which is normally a sign of osteoporosis and increased fracture risk .

A Must-Have Resource If You Want to Try A Raw Diet

If you want to try a raw diet, you want to take steps to be sure you get the nutrients you need .
Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, wrote what could be the definitive book on how to eat a bleak ( or largely raw ) diet and meet your needs for critical nutrients. It ’ second called Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets .
It’s important to note, however, that neither Brenda nor Vesanto practice or broadly recommend a strictly bleak diet on a long-run footing .

Raw + Cooked = The Winning Combo for Your Health

A spread of raw and cooked veggie dishes on a a table
The consensus among most nutrition experts is that you need both natural and cook veggies to get the most vitamins and minerals .
While some might be better cooked and some might be better naked, the bed line is this : More fruits and vegetables is better, period .
“ We should be eating a bunch of natural foods each day, but to think that a diet that is 100% raw is better than one that has some steamed vegetables or soup in it is just a distortion of the science ; it ’ s not accurate, ” says Dr. Joel Fuhrman .
He recommends starting both lunch and dinner with a boastfully naked salad or some raw vegetables. And then, he may eat a cook vegetable-based meal .

Eat Your Veggies the Way You Want and Listen to Your Body

It ’ sulfur well established that people who eat more vegetables and fruits are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases .
When it comes to consuming more healthy, colorful fruits and vegetables, it ’ second best to eat them the way you prefer .
As Dr. Michael Greger says : “ The best way to eat your veggies is really whichever way will get you to eat the most of them, with the exception of fry, which just adds way excessively many empty calories. ”
And when it comes to raw vs cooked, listen to your body and find a balance that works for you because we are all unique. You may want to make changes in how you eat based on the seasons, as your health changes, and as you senesce. But, ultimately, eating more veggies, whether raw or cooked, is what matters the most for your health .

Tell us in the comments:

  • What do you think about raw vs. cooked foods?

  • How do you prefer to eat your veggies?

  • How many raw foods do you eat?

Featured image : iStock.com/DronG





source : https://nutritionline.net
Category : Healthy