Should you eat them raw or cooked? – 6 veggies explained

Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot nine days old

Problem is this – even if you like it hot, it might be better to eat some veggies uncooked. We know well enough about how heating and boiling vegetables could diminish the nutrients they contain. But did we know that somemtimes the opposite happens? The nutrients grow in power – how do we know which does which? Take a look at this list by Sarah-Jane Bedwell published on SELF. Things will get clearer then:

Tomatoes

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Best When Eaten: Cooked

Lycopene (which some scientists say is more potent than vitamin C!) is a powerful antioxidant that actually increases in concentration as tomatoes go through the cooking process. In fact,one studyfound that people following a strict raw foods diet had relatively low levels of lycopene. Research indicates that lycopenemay be helpful in preventing certain cancers, such as skin cancer and breast cancer. Go for stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to reap the benefits. We love thisspaghetti and meatballswith a homemade roasted tomato sauce.

Broccoli

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Best When Eaten: Raw

Heat damages one of broccoli’s enzymes, myrosinase, which is important because it contributes to the formation of sulforaphane.Research suggeststhat sulforaphane not only kills precancerous cells and blocks them from multiplying, but also reduces the risk of stomach ulcers and stomach cancer. Dig into thisSpringtime Broccoli Slawfor a new way to try raw broccoli.

Carrots

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Best When Eaten: Cooked

Studiesshow that when carrots are cooked, their levels of beta carotene go up. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that the body converts to vitamin A. It’s essential for the function of many systems in the body, from reproduction to vision to immunity. Sold? Try theseHoney Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt.

Spinach

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Best When Eaten: Raw

Nosh on this leafy green as a salad for max levels of folate (vitamin B9). Folate is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it breaks down during the cooking process. Folate is important for the body’s function on a cellular level and is especially critical for pregnant women because it plays a vital role in the development of healthy babies. We love thisSpinach and Raspberry Salad.

Brussels Sprouts

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Best When Eaten: Cooked

Cruciferous veggies, like Brussels, form an organic compound called indole when cooked. Indole has been shownto kill precancerous cellsbefore they turn malignant. Get your fill with theseRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Chimichurri.

Capsicum

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Best When Eaten: Raw

Bell peppers contain about three times the vitamin C of an orange. However, since vitamin C is highly unstable in heat, the levels of vitamin C in fruits and veggies plummet when cooked. To enjoy this immune-boosting antioxidant in the maximum amount possible, try snacking on raw bell pepper strips dipped into one of these unique hummus recipes. (Pro-tip: Yellow peppers contain the most vitamin C!)

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