It may come as a surprise to the raw food movement but as it turns out not all foods are best consumed uncooked. The nutrient content of veggies actually changes based on whether they are raw or cooked. In order for some nutrients to be digestible by the body heat is actually needed. Don’t worry- you don’t have to torch your veggies in order to receive their maximum benefits. Light steaming or roasting is enough to break down the cell walls in order for your body to better absorb them. Here are 5 foods that are best to eat raw, and 5 foods that are best to cook before consuming.
Foods best eaten raw:
- Onions- When raw, onions have higher concentrations of sulfur compounds that help fight and prevent cancer.
- Red peppers- When aiming to get the most vitamin C a red pepper provides, it is best to consume them raw.
- Nuts- Did you know that roasted nuts have higher fat and calories than raw nuts?
- Blueberries- When cooked, blueberries lose their high amounts of fiber and anti-oxidant content.
- Kale- Kale is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and when you heat it up, it loses the bang to its buck. Opt for a kale salad instead of kale that has been steamed.
Food best eaten cooked:
- Carrots- When you cook your carrots, you increase their beta-carotene amounts which can improve your eye and bone health.
- Tomatoes- Tomatoes are surprisingly better for you when cooked! It increases the anti-oxidant properties in the fruit.
- Pumpkin- The anti-oxidants found in pumpkin are more easily digested by the body when cooked.
- Mushrooms- If you want more fiber out of your mushrooms, give them a light steam!
- Asparagus- Asparagus is a superfood packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and K, niacin, and magnesium. These are all better absorbed by the body after they are cooked.
As it turns out, nutrition is not all black and white. Some foods end up being better for your body when cooked and others are better consumed raw. Use this list as a guide and see if you can feel the difference!