Are vegetables healthy? Well, we all know the answer to that. But are vegetable healthier raw or cooked? Now this is when people tend to give differing opinions.
If you are wondering if cooking vegetables can make them less healthy, then this article is for you. Below it will let you know if it’s really a good idea for you to skip cooking your vegetables. Don’t forget to share this article afterwards to let your family and friends, especially those vegetable-eating ones, get to know the real deal, too!
So will cooking your veggies keep you from getting all of the nutrients they contain? The answer is yes and no.
Yes, it’s true that exposing vegetables to high temperatures can alter their chemical composition, and that includes their nutrient content. Cooking can definitely destroy some of the vitamins and minerals present in vegetables.
According to scientists, the longer you cook your vegetables, the more nutrients go to waste. Some of them are completely destroyed, while the rest leech into the water you are cooking your vegetables in. Indeed, it may seem like cooking vegetables is a no-no especially for health-conscious individuals.
For instance, cooking is known to cause water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and those B vitamins to escape their food sources and end up in the water they are being cooked in. With such being the case, you will have to also ingest the water in which you cooked your veggies to obtain those water-soluble vitamins, but that’s not possible all the time.
However, did you know that cooking vegetables also makes other nutrients more accessible?
For instance, some vegetables (carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc.) are composed of cells with very thick walls, and locked up within those cells are certain nutrients that your body needs. If uncooked, your digestive system may not be able to disintegrate those very tough cell walls, keeping you from obtaining the nutrients they have within.
But when you cook vegetables made of cells with tough exteriors, their nutrient content becomes accessible.
Are you aware that certain types of antioxidants are activated only when exposed to heat? One very good example is lycopene, that red-colored antioxidant found primarily in tomatoes.
There is no denying that one of the most revered antioxidants on the face of the planet is lycopene because of its superb ability to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and most especially cancer. If you want to harness the power of such antioxidant, then you should definitely expose your tomatoes to high temperatures.
So what should you do if cooking destroys certain nutrients and at the same time makes others more accessible?
One of the things that you may do is to keep cooking times as short as possible. Also, you might want to consider cooking without using water to help ensure that those water-soluble vitamins stay in their sources.
However, some doctors say that you should not really stress about cooking or not cooking your vegetables — they say for you to simply consume them. What’s important is you strive to consume 5 to 13 servings of vegetables each day, depending on your recommended daily caloric intake. Do that and you’re golden.