Many people think eating raw vegetables is healthier because it is more rich in nutrients than cooked or heated vegetables. Is that right?
According to some nutritionists, not all vegetables are more nutrient rich when not cooked. There are some vegetables that are even healthier when cooked, such as tomatoes, spinach, carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms.
Nutritionist and senior lecturer at Applied Physiology, Birmingham City University Mel Wakeman revealed, the heated tomatoes can make lycopene levels in it increased.
According to Wakeman, lycopene is believed to be heart healthy and has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Meanwhile, cooked spinach is rich in oxalates that bind minerals to spinach such as iron and calcium.
Then cooked carrots are rich in carotenoids and cooked asparagus is known to increase the content of polyphenols. According to Wakeman, both have antioxidant properties that can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Wakeman explained, heating can actually help release binding minerals to be absorbed by the body and increase the content of phytochemicals that are beneficial to health. However, Wakeman suggested that the vegetables are not heated for too long.
“Microwaves will be steaming often helps to maintain the nutritional content of vegetables, not boiling. Eat a mixture of raw and cooked carrots as well. “Wakeman said.
The same thing is also said by Rui Hai Liu, a professor in the department of food science at Cornell University.
“Many say the food that cooked food has lower nutritional value than fresh produce, but that’s not always true,” says Rui who studies how heat affects food.