There has always been a debate as to whether vegetables should be consumed raw or cooked. People who vote for eating raw vegetables say that cooking destroys the vitamins and enzymes present in the vegetables.
However, it should be noted that steamed, grilled, boiled and roasted vegetables are easier to absorb as cooking breaks down the tough cell walls. Here are some vegetables that are better eaten cooked:
Tomatoes are better eaten cooked because the thick cellular walls of raw tomatoes make it difficult for the body to absorb lycopene, the most powerful anti-oxidant found in tomatoes. Lycopene becomes easier for the body to be absorbed once it is cooked.
Hence, if you are only eating raw tomatoes, think twice. To get maximum benefit, cook and eat your tomatoes, along with tomato sauce, ketchup and paste.
Carrots contain a compound called beta-carotine, which gets converted into vitamin A. This compound gives carrots its deep orange colour. It is good for the eyes, skin and overall well being. It has been found that cooking carrots increases the level of beta-carotene that the body is able to utilize.
So, if your are fond of munching on carrots, do so. Also do add them to soups and curries.
Pumpkins, like carrots, contain a rich antioxidant called beta-carotene which is easily absorbed by the body, once it is cooked. This makes it very nutritious as well.
Hence, eat cooked pumpkins in the form of soups and curries for maximum benefit.
Asparagus is rich in folate and vitamins A,C and E. However, asparagus has thick walls. This makes it difficult for our body to absorb the vitamins. The fibrous cells of asparagus can be broken down only when cooked.
Steamed asparagus is not only good to eat, but nutritious as well. Try it.
Spinach is best eaten steamed. The iron and vitamin B folate present in spinach is good for reproductive health and also for general health. Folate levels do not increase when spinach is steamed. However, you consume more folate when you eat cooked spinach as a whole bunch wilts down to a small quantity. So, once cooked, you can eat it in larger amounts.
So, do add raw spinach to salads and smoothies if you like. Also, have them steamed.