So, with the seasons changing and more coming from gardens, I thought that it would be helpful to give you the veggies that are known to be healthier when cooked! 1. Tomatoes. According to the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University, tomatoes lose a lot of vitamin C when they're cooked. However, a 2002 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that cooked tomatoes have significantly higher levels of lycopene than raw ones, likely because the heat
helps to break down the thick cell walls, which contain a number of important nutrients. That's worth noting because lycopene is one of the most powerful antioxidants available—and it's been linked to a lower risk of numerous chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Lycopene is absorbed by your body more effectively when consumed with a healthy fat, so pair your cooked tomatoes with olive oil, olives, avocadoes, etc.
2. Asparagus. This amazing (but not my favorite) veggie is full of Vit A, C & E. Cooking it boosted its antioxidant activity by 16 to 25%. The International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that cooking asparagus increased its levels of phenolic acid, which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Because vitamins A and E are both fat-soluble, meaning they become easier for your body to absorb when they're paired with a fat source, you should consider cooking your asparagus in olive oil, or serving it with some toasted seeds. 3. Spinach. Research has revealed that steaming this veggie ensures that it retains its levels of folate, an important B vitamin that not only plays a role in making DNA but can also reduce the risk of several types of cancer. And according to North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group, cooked spinach packs more calcium, magnesium, and iron. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that steaming spinach can reduce the vegetable's oxalic acid—which interferes with your body's absorption of iron and calcium—by up to 53 percent.
4. Mushrooms. The journal Food Chemistry discovered that exposing this veggie to heat drastically enhanced its overall antioxidant activities. As an added bonus, cooked mushrooms have higher levels of potassium, niacin, and zinc than raw ones, according to The U.S. Department of Agriculture's nutrient database reports. 5. Celery. The Journal of Food Science, celery becomes healthier when cooked, however the antioxidant capacity only increased via certain cooking methods, including microwaving, pressure-cooking, griddling, frying, and baking. When boiled, this veggie actually lost 14 percent of its antioxidant activity. 6. Carrots. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry demonstrated that cooking this vegetable boosts its beta-carotene levels. Beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants which help prevent chronic disease, protects eyes and more. Cooking (by roasting or boiling the) carrots triples their overall antioxidant power.
7. Green Beans. In Nutrition Research, steamed green beans may have greater cholesterol-lowering benefits than raw green beans. The Journal of Food Science revealed that green beans have higher levels of antioxidants when they are baked, griddled, or even fried—but not when they are boiled or pressure cooked. 8. Kale. The Harvard School of Public Health, raw kale contains isothiocyanates, which prevent the body from using the iodine it needs for the thyroid (which helps to regulate the
metabolism). However, cooking this veggie deactivates the enzymes that trigger that potentially harmful effect. That's why Harvard School of Public Health recommends lightly steaming your kale, which will help you to avoid this issue while minimizing antioxidant loss. 9. Eggplant. In Nutrition Research found that steaming eggplant allows its components to bind together with bile acids, allowing the liver to more easily break down cholesterol and reduce its presence in the bloodstream. Eating raw or grilling this veggie isn't something that is recommended. 10. Brussel Sprouts. According to Harvard Health, cooking brussel sprouts have been found to kill precancerous cells and also causes the glycosylates to break down into compounds that are known for having cancer-fighting capabilities. 11. Artichokes. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that steaming artichokes increased their antioxidant levels by 15-fold. Boiling them, meanwhile, only boosted them by 8-fold. Boiling isn't the best option is that this cooking method can cause the vegetable to lose certain water-soluble vitamins in the water.