Does Cooking Vegetables Destroy Nutrients? How to Cook Veggies Properly
3 Veggies That Are Healthier Cooked Than Raw
To heat or not to heat, that is the question. While nutrient levels in some vegetables rise when cooked, others fall. Here, a look at popular produce and their nutrition when eaten cooked and raw.
Cooked:Eating raw carrots every day for 4 weeks barely affected blood beta-carotene levels, one study found. But eaters of canned carrots had levels three times as high, because cooking skyrockets the body's ability to extract beta-carotene.
Raw:Cooking carrots may destroy some of their polyphenols—plant-derived antioxidants that can't withstand heat.
Cooked:Kale is high in beta-carotene, so cooking gives the nutrient a boost. Steaming especially improves its ability to bind bile acid—linked to lowering cholesterol—much more than in its raw state, found one study.
Raw:One cup of kale packs 107% of your daily vitamin C! But C is heat sensitive, so levels plummet when cooked.
MORE: 5 Ways To Love Your Veggies
Cooked: In one study, cooking upped lycopene in tomatoes by 35%, because heat breaks down cell walls and makes it easier to extract. The more you heat tomatoes—especially when you cook with fat, like olive oil—the more lycopene your body can use.
Raw:The same study showed that cooking tomatoes lessens vitamin C, but the total antioxidant levels remain high.
Video: Raw Veggies Versus Cooked Veggies?
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