This has been quite a contentious issue for some time, and to be honest after weighing up all the evidence I could find, I’m going to have to sit on the fence and say both raw and cooked vegies should have their place in our diet. However if I had to lean more to one side I’d say it’s best to include more raw vegies than cooked…..Have I totally confused you? I’m just a raw foodie at heart I guess. I love the concept of going back to basics and keeping it simple.
So here’s why a mix of both is the way to go. Some vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms become more nutritious once they’re cooked. Tomatoes for instance have a 25% increase in lycopene, a compound that reduces the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers when cooked, while the antioxidant value of a carrot (carotenoids) increases over 30% when they are cooked. On the other hand foods such as peppers and broccoli that are naturally high in vitamin C lose some of this impact once cooked. Foods such as bokchoy and cabbage may have their disease fighting properties and natural enzymes destroyed in the cooking process so are best eaten raw.
It’s no secret that many people are falling short when it comes to daily intake of vegetables. If you can relate there’s a few simple ways to boost your intake of vegetables. Souping is considered the new juicing with the added benefit of not sacrificing fibre. Salads are a great option all year round and you can’t go wrong with a stirfry For an easy snack grab a dip and eat it with chopped up vegetable sticks and you could always go the vegetable kebab as a great addition to an evening meal.
So the take home message here is to eat more vegetables. Think about your health goals as to what your ratio of raw to cooked vegetables will be and educate yourself on what vegetables are best eaten raw or cooked for the maximum results.