It’s quite a common belief that vegetables are healthier when consumed raw. However, this isn’t always true, as there are some veggies that are better for you when cooked!
Spinach is very high in iron, however raw spinach also contains a lot of oxalic acid, a substance that can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron, as well as other nutrients. Long-term consumption of too much oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
When cooked, the oxalic acid breaks down, allowing you to absorb higher amounts of iron, as well as other nutrients such as vitamins A and E, fibre, zinc, and calcium.
Also, since spinach shrinks when cooked, we are likely to eat a lot more of it when it’s cooked - meaning we will consume even more nutrients!
Tomatoes in all forms are good for you, but when cooked they’re an even better source of antioxidants! They contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is very powerful in protecting against free radicals (it devours over ten times more than vitamin E!), and when cooked for just 2 minutes the levels of lycopene increase by over 50%, while after 15 minutes of cooking they contain over 100% more!
When cooked, red peppers do sacrifice some vitamin C, especially when boiled or
But cooking them also makes the cell walls break down, meaning the amount of antioxidants that the body can absorb increases.
The best way to cook them is lightly fry or roast them for 10 minutes or less in order to get the most benefits.
Cooked mushrooms have about double the amount of potassium, niacin, zinc and magnesium as uncooked ones. They soak up oil, but they release a lot of water, so you can go easy on the oil when sautéing!
Cooking asparagus raises the levels of 6 nutrients, including powerful antioxidants. The best way to retain nutrients is boil a pot of water, and then drop in the whole asparagus.
Keep an eye on them, and as soon as they turn bright green you should remove them.
Everyone has heard that carrots are good for eyesight, and that’s because they contain beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. When cooked, the beta-carotene is retained even at high temperatures, but the cell walls of the carrot are broken down, making the nutrient easier for us to absorb.