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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.

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