i've read lots of different articles that have said cooked tomatoes have more nutritional value than raw tomatoes (sorry, i don't have any specific sources, i just surf around a lot and read random nutrition articles). and yes, it's the lycopene that they say is heightened, which is one of the main benefits of tomatoes. i don't know if any of its properties are lost in cooking or not. it's just the only veggie i've read about that increases in some sort of value when cooked.
I think as long as you generally vary your vegetables, you'll get everything you need. I really wouldn't worry too much about what benefits you are getting... However, here are some things that might help you out (both answering your question and some other veg stuff):
- first, buy local. they contain far more nutrients if they are 'newer' and have travelled less. often, organic is better. thick skinned ones, though, don't really apply (think: bananas)
- as time goes on in the fridge, they lose their nutrients, also. i go to the market every two days because of this. if i want fresh, local, produce, i want all the benefits and eating it at it's peak.
- broccoli/green beans/spinach and other leafy greens are the MOST susceptible to losing their nutrients the quickest. you can avoid this (if you do have to buy in advance) buy investing in GOOD tupperware. and it's OKAY to spend 30$ on a celery keeper. my gramma has had hers for over forty years.
- if you can't buy fresh, but frozen - they usually pick them and flash freeze them, when they are at their nutrient peak.
- never boil if you do cook them. and if you need to, then save the broth for soup!
- broccoli, caulflower are both not as great for you cooked. i think that it's three or four times better raw? one of those. if you have to cook them, keep those to a minimum.
- like the other poster mentioned, tomatoes are great for you cooked - that's why things like pizza and sauces are so, so good for you. like tomatoes, carrots also apply to this! same with corn (for the antioxidants)
that's all i can think of for now - i'm so tired! i hope that helps.
Garlic is better raw!! lol tho I don't know many that would really enjoy a lot raw garlic. I just read a study about it last week. Garlic has resveratrol (like wine...yum) in the trans form. If you cook it, some will be converted to the cis form which causes it to lose it's affects (some kind of anti-aging and heart health affects). But, if you eat a lot of garlic (as us italians do) cooking it is no biggie.
Sorry. Seriously though. Is there any truth to the notion that the stuff that is broken down in veggies when they're cooked will be broken down in your system anyways, so you're just skipping a step? I think I read that on a post here before but I have no idea if there is any truth to it. Anyone have any idea what I'm referring to?
Well, it depends on the system. Some people have an easier time digesting raw vegetables than others. If I myself ate certain raw vegetables--broccoli, cauliflower (basically anything with a lot of insoluble fiber)--it would pass right through me without being properly digested, plus I'd be in pain. So I cook the majority of my veggies. Other people don't have this problem. If certain raw veggies give you the runs, that means you're not absorbing much nutrition from them before they're exiting your system. If you don't have this problem, it's more likely that you're absorbing the nutrients in the veggies.
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