Are vegetables healthier raw or cooked?
With the nation still feeling a little queasy after supermarkets admitted those cheap ‘beef’ burgers and lasagnes were cheap for a reason, there’s never been a better time to discuss the merits of vegetables.
For one thing, you can’t easily disguise a vegetable as something else. For another – they’re the best ticket to a long and healthy life after exercise. Packed with vitamins and minerals and void of the high fat, sugar and salt levels which taint most other foods we eat, vegetables are nature’s diet pills.
The fact that vegetables are healthy is undisputable. The real question is – how do you get the best from them? Some vegetables are healthier eaten raw, while some benefit from the cooking process.
The healthiest way to cook vegetables is to lightly steam them so they still have a bit of a crunch. This will keep the nutrients in without adding fat content in the form of butter or oil.
Roasting in foil
Roasting in foil is another healthy way to cook vegetables. Not only do you get that satisfying crispiness, but you can also catch any leaked nutrients in the foil.
Shallow frying is a good way to keep nutrients in but don’t overdo it with the oil as the vegetables will absorb it.
Leaving your vegetables to stew for hours makes for a tasty meal but it means some of the healthy vitamins and minerals get soaked away.
Boiling vegetables destroys a great deal of the nutrients and also makes veg unappealingly soggy.
Some vegetables taste better raw and are also healthier. Next time you have a sandwich, wrap, or salad, chop up some red pepper for added crunch and vitamin C.
For more information about the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, head over to our Balanced Diet page.
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