Raw vs Cooked
Do you wonder how to prepare vegetables to maximize their nutritional value? Cooking activates the nutrients in some vegetables—and does the exact opposite in others.
Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out the best in them. Here are a few brief examples.
Beets, Spinach, Chard, and Quinoa—continue to show many health benefits not readily available from other food families.
Eat them: Raw, shredded, juiced, low heat dried and powdered.
Raw will give you more glycoglycerolipids that helps protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage — especially damage related to unwanted inflammation. They have more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in that are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents.
They lose more than 25 percent of their folate, carotenoids and other vitamins when cooked. Eating them raw will preserve these brain compounds.
The betalain pigments found in this food family, have unique epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids. These unique carotenoids and the special phytonutrients in these plants boost our nervous system health (including our specialized nervous system organs like the eye). I recommend that you include these foods in your diet at least 3-4 times per week.
Eat it: Both – Lightly Cooked and Raw
Leave some snap in it by lightly steaming or grilling that asparagus and activate its cancer-fighting potential.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Kale, collard greens
Eat it: Raw is best. If you do cook it, lightly steamed, blanched, or grilled (leave some snap). The benefits are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of anti-cancer compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after 1 minute, 40–50% after 5 minutes, and 77% after 15 minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, and stir frying have no significant effect on the compounds.
Cooking also deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme in broccoli that helps cleanse the liver of carcinogens.
High in multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and selenium. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane boosts innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. These plants also contain the precursor to an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. They are an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and blocks the growth of cancer cells. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides some beta-carotene, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Eat them: Cooked
Heating mushrooms—whether you sauté, boil, grill, or roast them—brings out more muscle-building nutrients.
Eat them: Both raw and sautéed
Although raw is best for immune boosting nutrients like Allicin. Allicin also helps to control appetite.
Eat them: Raw
Their vitamin C breaks down when roasted, fried, or grilled above 375 degrees.
Eat them: Cooked
When you eat tomatoes cooked, your body absorbs more of their cancer-fighting lycopene.