Dr. Kantor answers questions about the nutrition in cooked and raw veggies from ShopSmart Magazine.
Fruits and vegetables are typically more nutritious eaten raw verses cooked. One exception to this is with tomatoes, the lycopene (one of the main antioxidants in tomatoes) content of tomatoes has been shown to rise 35% after being cooked. Lycopene has been shown to reduce ones risk of heart attack and cancer.
Foods that have to be cooked include meat and poultry to avoid the risk of bacteria like salmonella or E.coli.
2) If so why, in a general sense? Is it because heat breaks down cell walls and makes nutrients more accessible?
High quality (certified all natural and/or organic) produce is more beneficial eaten raw because there is no risk of losing vitamins and minerals though the cooking process, ie. Steaming vegetables can cause the vegetable to leak nutrients into the water that the vegetable is being steamed in. The same situation can occur when vegetables are roasted for too long.
3) Any other reasons?
Another reason to eat raw vegetables rather then cooked, is because the enzymes in raw vegetables aid in the digestive process and overall integrity of how the vegetables break down inside of the body. These enzymes are often broken down during cooking. When raw, they are richer in water and fiber. These nutrients, enzymes and water content maintain the health of the skin, and overall metabolic system compared to vegetables that lost their high levels of enzymes during the cooking process.
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Dr. Kantor’s greatly anticipated new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, is now available. Be sure to order this highly reviewed book, filled with healthy living tips for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.