Raw food diets have gained a lot of followers in recent years. Some people believe that raw foods are always healthier because cooking destroys the nutritional power of food. It’s true that cooking vegetables does reduce some of their vitamin content, because certain vitamins like vitamin C and folic acid are sensitive to heat and partly destroyed when food is cooked. Although cooking destroys some nutrients in veggies, it can also make other nutrients more available for your body to absorb and use. Here are some veggies whose nutritional power can increases after cooking.
Raw spinach contains an organic substance called oxalic acid which binds minerals like calcium and iron, making it unavailable for your body to absorb. By cooking spinach, the oxalic acid breaks down, the bound minerals are released, and can be absorbed by your body.
Lycopene is a phytochemical which gives many pink and red foods their colour. It acts as an antioxidant in the body, and eating a high amount can lower the risk of cancer and heart attacks. Cooking tomatoes actually increases the amount of lycopene that we can utilize.
Cooking carrots increases the amount of beta-carotene that your body can absorb. This is the compound that gives carrots their vibrant orange colour and is converted to vitamin A in the body. So if you want to see in the dark, cook your carrots first!
Cooking asparagus breaks down and softens their fibrous walls making it easier for our body to access the antioxidants it contains.
The potassium in mushrooms becomes more available and easy to absorb after they are cooked.
When it comes to veggies, variety is key. Both raw and cooked veggies offer many different benefits and eating a combination of both will provide your body with the richest range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Our Day to Day DinnerKits always contain a variety of raw and cooked veggies so you know you’re getting a healthy dose of all the essential nutrients you need.