It is popularly believed that raw fruits and vegetables are as healthy as it gets. However, cooking some vegetables may actually deem them healthier and more bioavailable to the body.
The fruits and vegetables that are better for you cooked than raw may surprise you. While eating vegetables raw maintains their enzymatic quality and high nutritional profile, there are some standout vegetables that are better to eat cooked than raw. Take a look at some of the fruits and veggies better for you cooked. Do they surprise you?
Cooking carrots break down their tough cellular walls. It’s hard to properly chew carrots and optimally benefit from the beta-carotene content. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which is beneficial for bone health, the immune system, and vision. According to a 2008 report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, boiling or steaming carrots made its antioxidants, most notably carotenoids, more ready available to the body.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, which is a phytonutrient that provides tomatoes with its red color. Cooking tomatoes enhances their antioxidant power, making them more bioavailable to the body. Lycopene is helpful in fighting heart disease and cancer.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables contain some chemicals that block the production of the thyroid hormone in the body. Hypothyroidism can cause you to gain weight, get cold hands and feet, become fatigued, reduce your libido, turn your hair dry, and cause constipation. By cooking cruciferous vegetables, you reduce this effect by some two-thirds. Cruciferous vegetables include arugula, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, collard greens, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, radishes, rutabaga, and watercress.
4. Leafy Greens
Oxalic acid is found in many leafy greens and can be an irritant. It also blocks iron and calcium absorption. By lightly steaming or cooking greens, oxalic acid is reduced in foods like spinach and chard.
Photo Credit: Grant Guarino