Raw foods like fruits and veggies are rich in helpful compounds for our bodies. These healthy nutrients protect body cells, prevent multiple diseases, increase the overall immune system, and much more. But in the world of health and nutrition, raw food diets are a fairly newer trend, including raw veganism. The core belief behind this practice is that less processed foods are better and richer in natural goodness. However, this might not be the case for every food. Especially for some regular vegetables, which are actually more nutritious while cooked, as opposed to eating raw. Here are a few vegetables that you should get on a stove before eating.
Brassica is the umbrella term for green vegetables like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. These veggies are high in sulfur-containing phytochemicals named Glucosinolates. Essentially, our body converts these into multiple disease-fighting compounds. But for this conversion, an enzyme called Myrosinase is needed to be activated within these veggies. According to research, steaming brassica preserves both Myrosinase and Vitamin C. Letting chopped broccoli sit for at least 40 minutes before cooking also allows the Myrosinase enzyme to activate.
Free radicals are chemical compounds that can potentially damage our bodies’ cells, causing premature aging and multiple illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Mushrooms are not only super tasty when cooked, but also release large amounts of Ergothioneine. Mushrooms are rich in this particular type of antioxidant molecule that breaks down and neutralizes the excess free radicals. So, cooked mushrooms protect the body’s cells against toxic effects while also contributing to disease prevention.
Raw carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a substance called carotenoid, which the body converts into Vitamin A. This fat-soluble vitamin supports the immune system, vision, and bone growth. Cooked carrots contain more beta-carotene than raw ones. And if you cook your carrots with the skins on, it increases the antioxidant power in them by more than twice the amount. Also, boiling carrots whole before slicing them stops the nutrients from escaping into the cooking water. But, frying carrots can reduce the number of carotenoids.
Another vegetable rich in antioxidants is tomatoes. Cooking, no matter what the method is, greatly increases Lycopene. Antioxidant Lycopene helps in lowering the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. The heat of cooking increases the Lycopene amount in tomatoes by more than 50% within 30 minutes of cooking. It helps in breaking down the thick walls of the body cells that contain several important nutrients.
Green beans contain a great number of helpful antioxidants. Like many veggies, cooking green beans releases the antioxidants in higher amounts, making the veggies packed with more nutrients. But to get more antioxidants, green beans need to be cooked in specific methods. Boiling or pressure cooking falls short in this aspect. Instead, if you microwave, bake, griddle, or even fry your green beans, you’re going to get a much higher amount of antioxidants, working at their complete potential to keep your body free from harmful compounds.