Spinach, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus and broccoli are better to be cooked before eaten. The reason is because it is easier to digest them and this way they will have more nutrients. Roast red peppers and carrots so you can break down their cell walls and additionally you can release even more carotenoids. By cooking mushrooms you will get more vitamin C and you will digest them easily. Puree the tomatoes or you can stir-fry them in olive oil so you can absorb even more lycopene, which is an antioxidant. You should not boil spinach and broccoli, instead you should steam them. Asparagus should be steamed, baked or fried quickly in olive oil.

Vegetables that you should eat cooked:

• Steam spinach
• Roast carrots
• Steam asparagus
• Cook tomatoes in olive oil
• Steam broccoli
• Cook mushrooms
• Roast red peppers

You choose to eat carrots raw or cooked? The best way is to roast them. Some experts say that it is recommended to eat raw veggies, but in fact certain vegetables should be eaten cooked. It is true that by cooking them you might destroy vitamins that are soluble in water such as vitamin C and B and depending on the method, certain minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium; phosphorus and iron might be reduced by 70%.

However, if you eat cooked vegetables it can be healthier, but the way of cooking is also important as well. Remember that deep frying would only kill all benefits.

This is only half of the story. Light heat, cooking, or steam will break down the food in a form that would be easy to digest and also release many nutrients. Additionally, it can even release even more nutrients. Cooking might also transform any potentially dangerous chemicals in certain vegetables in harmless ones. However, this depends on the vegetables and how you cook them. It is better to eat these vegetables cooked not raw.

Carrots: roasted or steamed

Carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is a natural antioxidant and when it enters in our body it is transformed in vitamin A.

However, if you eat it raw, it cannot be absorbed so well. If you are looking for better absorption you should fry them in a little bit of coconut or olive oil.

By cooking them it would be easier to absorb all antioxidants. This will also break down the cell walls and it will also increase the absorption of the other nutrients. One study proved that the bioavailability of beta-carotene might significantly increase if the food source is treated or heated.

This means that if you eat the vegetable, you can increase your vitamin A intake, and you should roast or steam them. It is tasty and delicious for having strong bones, healthy eyes, radiant skin and healthy teeth.

Spinach: steamed

There is a lot of good stuff in the dark leaves of spinach. If you cook spinach, it will shrink and wilt down; meaning that 1 cup of cooked spinach is going to technically hold more nutrients, than 1 cup of raw spinach.

However, spinach additionally contains oxalic acid that stops the absorption of some minerals including iron and calcium in the body and can eventually form kidney stones. This is something that is easy to deal with.

You should steam the spinach so it would be easier to remove the oxalic acid and make it more digestible.

You will lose 5 to 53% of the oxalic acid if you steam the spinach and 30 to 87% if you boil it. The folate levels in spinach won’t drop after cooking or steaming the spinach in the microwave, but folate will leach out when the leaves are boiled. If you have a sensitive stomach you should stick to steamed spinach.

Asparagus: steamed

Asparagus should be steamed, blanched or baked for releasing of the antioxidants and vitamins.

Asparagus contains a lot of fiber and it is best eaten if cooked. By cooking it the fiber will be broken down and it will improve the absorption of certain vitamins, including vitamin C, A, E, B, and K. It was proven by one study that cooking asparagus can increase its antioxidant activity. It was noted by the researchers that cooking asparagus will increase the absorption of important nutrients such as quercetin, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, phenols, lutein, and rutin. Blanching or steaming the asparagus is an amazing option or also it can be tossed in a salad with a little bit of lemon juice and olive oil.

Red Peppers: roasted

Fry or roast red if you want to keep the antioxidants levels of the peppers on a high level.

Red peppers contain a lot of carotenoids. It is the same situation with carrots: when processing them or cooking them you can increase the bioavailability of the carotenoids. It is proven by experts that dry heat methods might help with the antioxidants retention. How is the best way to do this? You can fry or roast them and do not steam or boil them. You should pay attention on the cooking temperature and time as overdoing them can actually destroy the antioxidants that can be sensitive to heat.

Tomatoes: cook them using olive oil

If you want to absorb lycopene you should pureeing them or stir-fry them in olive oil.

Lycopene is a pigment that makes tomatoes red and the question is are they good for your health? Lycopene has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it is amazing part of your diet that can help for treating cardiovascular problems, nerve-wasting diseases and even cancer. Lycopene will become even more available for your body after you cook the tomatoes. The researchers observed that that people who were following a raw-food diet experienced normal levels of many nutrients, but not of lycopene.

You can make tomato sauce and use it for pasta, pizza and another option is to cook them in olive oil.

Broccoli: steamed

If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you should not eat broccoli raw. If you want to preserve all nutrients you should steam it.

It can be tricky to choose the best option for cooking broccoli. Broccoli contains glucosinate that releases anticancer chemicals that are called indoles and sulforaphane. Myrosinase is an enzyme in broccoli and it helps the process of this breakdown. You just have to chop the broccoli and it will break the myrosinase down in glucosinate. However, the heat will make the myrosinase inactive.

If you are looking for a protection from cancer, you might think that raw broccoli is the best option. However, even though the gut bacteria are able to break down the glucosinate, it will not be so effective. However, glucosinate is goitrogen and it can interfere with the thyroid hormones and additionally it can affect your metabolism.

That is why if you want to have a normal amount of glucosinates and not influence your health, you should chop the broccoli and steam it. Do not boil or microwave it.

Mushrooms: cooked

It is hard to digest raw mushrooms. Cooking them will increase their vitamin C content and also make the other nutrients more available.

Honestly speaking mushrooms are not a vegetable. They contain fungi and they are a huge part of a vegan or vegetarian diet and people think of them as a meat substitute. However, they are a mixed bag. Once you cook them, vitamin B and most of D vitamins decline. Also, this process will increase the amount of vitamin C, and this is rare because heat makes vitamin C to oxidize very quickly.

One study proved that the antioxidant activity of shiitake is increased once heated.

By cooking them you will bring down their calorie content and also increase the content of fiber, iron and calcium.
There is one powerful argument that is against consuming raw mushrooms as it is hard to digest them since their tough cell walls are made of chitin. This means that the nutrients won’t be completely available. If you cook them you will break down the chitin and also release all nutrients. You can cook them or bake them.