Should You Cook Vegetables or Eat Them Raw?

If you’re trying to add more vegetables to your diet, you’re likely doing so to improve your overall health. However, to truly get the most out of your vegetables, some should be eaten cooked, and others should be enjoyed raw. 

Consult the list below to see how to best enjoy your favorite vegetables.

Vegetables You Should Cook

There are a handful of common vegetables that actually become more nutritious for you when you cook them. The reasons for this vary with the vegetable. However, many vegetables have characteristics that are heightened when you cook them. One such example is tomatoes. Raw tomatoes of course contain heaps of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Folate. However, cooking them breaks down the rough outer cell wall, adding even more nutrients to the vegetable. 

Tomatoes are also incredibly versatile, making them a great cooked vegetable option. Other vegetables that are healthier cooked include asparagus, kale, mushrooms, green beans, and carrots. Carrots are actually healthiest when they’re cooked alongside a fat source, like butter or olive oil.

Vegetables You Should Eat Raw

On the other end of the spectrum, some types of vegetables are healthier for you when eaten raw. These vegetables should be enjoyed fresh, in salads, or by themselves. Vegetables like broccoli, cucumbers, onions, garlic, and cabbage are all better enjoyed without the heat. Raw carrots can increase saliva production and reduce plaque and cavities. If you cook these vegetables, they lose some of their nutrients. 

Eating them raw allows you to fully absorb the vitamins in each vegetable. Each of these vegetables can be enjoyed on its own as a snack, or added together to create a flavorful vegetable dish. It’s helpful to know which vegetables are better enjoyed raw, to make sure you’re getting the healthiest vegetables possible.

All in All

When it comes down to it, the most important part of eating vegetables is eating enough vegetables. All of these vegetables have fiber and nutrients that your body needs to be healthy. If you only enjoy eating carrots raw, or broccoli cooked, it’s worth it just to eat it the way you enjoy the most. While you may be missing out on a few of the nutrients, you’re still fueling your body with healthy, whole foods. If you can find a way to do this consistently, that’s the best way to do it.

Fruits and vegetables provide you with some of the most essential nutrients your body needs to survive. Vegetables specifically have vitamins and minerals that are important for anyone to eat regularly. Cooking (or not cooking) your vegetables correctly can help you make the most of the vegetable’s nutrients.

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