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These vegetables actually become more healthy after cooking

May 24, 2021 15:46 IST | By Vishakha Somani

You might have heard people ramble about the benefits of eating raw fruits and vegetables for their so-called healthful benefits. While raw may be a great choice in many cases but raw is not always better! Did you know that there are some vegetables that are actually more nutritious when cooked? 

Let us walk you through some veggies that are healthier after cooking and what’s the best way to prepare them to reap the maximum benefits: 

SPINACH 

This green leafy veg is loaded with folate but you must first steam spinach to enable your body to absorb all the calcium and iron. This is because spinach contains oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of iron and calcium but it can be broken down under high temperatures, so blanch away! 

CARROT 

We are often advised to snack on raw carrots but your body actually absorbs more beta-carotene from this crunchy veg once it is boiled. It is best to boil carrots whole before slicing to ensure that valuable nutrients don’t seep out into the cooking water.  

TOMATO 

Red, juicy tomatoes are full of lycopene but a 2002 study discovered that cooking tomatoes for about 30 minutes increased the absorbable lycopene by 35 per cent. Instead of throwing raw tomatoes into a salad, it might be a better idea to roast them in the oven for half an hour.   

RED BELL PEPPER 

Just like tomatoes, red bell peppers are also full of lycopene and this is why roasting or stir-frying them makes the lycopene far more digestible. Since cooking will reduce the vitamin C content in the pepper so our advice would be to not cook them for more than 10 minutes.  

BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER 

Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables rich in fibres raffinose and cellulose which can lead to flatulence in many people. To combat this problem, it is great to chop them up and either lightly roast or steam them before eating.  

SPROUTS  

While cooking may be optional for some of the veggies we have discussed so far, the US CDC advises against eating raw sprouts. This is because they are essentially baby seeds, germinated in warm and moist conditions. They are often contaminated with bacteria that cause foodborne illness so it's better to roast or quickly boil them before eating.  

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