The age old battle for the healthiest form of consuming vegetables continues. With studies showing benefits of the raw food diet and others stating that cooked vegetables is the only way to go. But what’s the truth? Who do we listen to? Do we start following raw vegan food accounts on instagram or do we buy an air fryer from Tescos? It seems to be the endless struggle for answers.
For a long time, cooking our food has been deemed a form of human evolution. It is how we feel we have set ourselves apart as a species. Cooking food has helped us to easily digest certain meals and kill off any unruly bacteria that might be lying in our dishes. But as the age of pesticides and rigorous cleaning has developed, the question may not lie in what bad bacteria we are killing, but in what good bacteria we are killing…?
But, question no more. We have done the research so you don’t have to. Here are a list of pros and cons to cooking veg.
Supplies and preserves antioxidants.
Boiling and steaming veg supplies and preserves its antioxidants. So by boiling carrots, cabbage and peppers, more of these precious antioxidants can actually be supplied to the food.
Breaks down thick cell walls.
Cooking vegetables can break down their thick cell walls which allows for more nutrients to be released into our body.
It increases the production of carotenoids.
A carotenoid is an antioxidant that protects you from disease and enhances your immune system. Certain carotenoids can also be converted into Vitamin A, which is essential for your immune system, eye health and gut health.
Frying uses up antioxidants.
Frying vegetables is the most delicious way to eat veggies, but unfortunately isn’t the most effective. Frying and heating oil oxidises is and by proxy, uses up all the antioxidants in the veg.
It can destroy Vitamin C.
Unfortunately, vitamin C is a victim to heat and slowly degrades as temperate increases. However, some vitamin C is still retained in cooked veggies and you can also find this super vitamin in carrots and oranges (which you can definitely eat raw).
Heat can damage essential enzymes.
A perfect example of this is broccoli. Broccoli is best eaten raw, as heat can damage an enzyme in this green vegetable that helps break down glucose in our bodies.
So what are we to do? How do we know which vegetables to cook and not to cook? Here is a comprehensive list of the veg best cooked and the ones best consumed raw.
- Bell Peppers
- Green beans
- Brussel Sprouts
- Snow Peas
- White onion
- Parsley root