Is it Better to Eat Cooked Or Raw Vegetables?
I was always under the impression raw vegetables had more nutritive value than cooked vegetables, and that may be true overall. However, this all depends on what vegetable you’re eating and what you need to get in your diet. We’ll break that down here.
Speaking Generally, Raw Vegetables Are Better Than Cooked
Vegetables that are boiled make it so water-soluble vitamins will escape into the cooking water. That being said, dry-cooking (like roasting) can make the concentration of nutrients more powerful since it removes water. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest while retaining fiber content, so you end up getting nutrients easier.
Carrots, Zucchini, and Broccoli Are Better for Antioxidant Delivery When Eaten Raw
If your goal is to get more antioxidants in your diet, eat your carrots, zucchini, and broccoli raw. According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, cooked vegetables supply more antioxidants such as carotenoids and ferulic acid than when raw as long as they’re boiled or steamed — it seems boiling and steaming preserves antioxidants in carrots, zucchini, and broccoli.
If You Need Beta-Carotene or Vitamin A, Cook Your Carrots.
A study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found increased beta-carotene levels in cooked carrots as opposed to raw. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, reproduction, bone growth and regulating the immune system.
When Are Tomatoes Better Cooked?
If you are working to lower your risk of prostate cancer, cook your tomatoes. When cooked, tomatoes release lycopene, a chemical that has shown to be beneficial when lowering the risk of prostate cancer.
The TakeAway on Whether Cooked or Raw Vegetables are Better…
Regardless of all this information, everyone’s bodies are different. Our gender, age, location, and genetics will all affect the nutrients our bodies need. If you want to find out what types of foods are best for you, go to a nutrition specialist and have them run blood tests to determine what is actually missing in your diet. The best way to figure out whether raw or cooked vegetables are better – for you – is to get the data and to have your doctor and nutritionist involved in your dietary plans.