Fact Buster: Raw or cooked?Are vegies more nutritious?

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Fact Buster: Raw or cooked? When it comes to nutritional value, does it matter how we eat our vegies?

It's hard enough for many of us just to get enough vegetables into our diets, let alone spend time worrying whether we should be eating our cauliflower uncooked.

But the debate about the nutritional value of raw compared with cooked vegetables has been hard to ignore, and understandably it's left many of us confused as to what to do for the best.

In fact, it doesn't really matter how we consume our vegetables, just as long as we get enough in our diets, up to five servings a day, to get the most nutritional value, include a wide variety of cooked and raw veg in your meals.

When we cook vegetables, we change their structure and composition – which can have both positive and negative effects when it comes to their health benefits.

Some vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, contain vitamin C which can be lost during the cooking process. The same is true if we cook fruits that contain vitamin C, such as red berries.

On the other hand, there are some compounds which we can absorb much more easily from cooked vegetables, compared with their raw counterparts.

A great example of this is lycopene – a type of carotenoid – found in tomatoes.

Carotenoids, an important form of phytonutrient found in most vegetables, have been associated with a decreased risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Cooking your favourite veg will not diminish its fibre content.

And in many cases cooking makes the vegetables much tastier – meaning we are that much more likely to eat them.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Even with cooking your veggies, it does sometimes matter how long you cook them. With some veggies, if you cook them too long, you cook out some of the nutrients and enzymes.

When I make stir fries, I cook the meat well first and then add the veggies last. I cook them just enough to soften them and bring out the flavor. But they're still crispy when I'm done cooking. I just can't stand mushy veggies.

Dr. Oz says that sauteeing tomatoes in olive oil brings out even more lycopene--quite a bit more than eating them raw. I haven't done that yet. I always eat them raw. But I'm going to have to try it. I've seen some recipes that are simple sauteed tomatoes with different herbs and olive oil. And they sound delicious.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

That is very true, also about garlic if you cut them or crush them and allow them to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking the activity of the enzyme alliinase will increase,you have the same good effect if chewed raw.

The enzyme alliinase can be inactivated by heat. In one study, microwave cooking of unpeeled, uncrushed garlic totally destroyed alliinase enzyme activity.

The protective effect of garlic against DNA damage can be partially conserved by crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for ten minutes prior to microwave heating for 60 seconds or by cutting the tops off garlic cloves and allowing them to stand for ten minutes before heating in a convection oven. Because organosulfur compounds derived from alliinase-catalyzed reactions appear to play a role in some of the biological effects of garlic, some scientists recommend that crushed or chopped garlic be allowed to “stand” for at least ten minutes prior to cooking.

If you cook a whole clove of garlic

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