Vegetables and fruits provide many nutrients that are important for overall health. Many vegetables are not only delicious when eaten raw, but are also more nutritious than when cooked. So, choose raw vegetables as an integral part of your daily diet!
Most vegetables are healthy, no matter how you prepare them. Sure, fries or broccoli with cheese aren’t the best way to eat healthy, but any sauteed, steamed, grilled, or boiled vegetable is good for us.
Eating raw vegetables has some special benefits. While you shouldn’t worry too much about the difference in nutrient content between cooked and raw vegetables – just a few servings of vegetables a day should be enough – there are reasons why you should choose raw vegetables.
Health benefits of eating raw vegetables
Many water-soluble vitamins
One of the biggest benefits of eating raw vegetables is their higher vitamin content. Some nutrients, like vitamin C, begin to break down when exposed to heat, or they can be separated from vegetables and mixed into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli may have less vitamin C than raw broccoli.
Eating raw vegetables means you’ll get more water-soluble nutrients — vitamin C and B vitamins — than eating cooked vegetables. However, eating plenty of cooked vegetables can also provide enough vitamin C to meet your needs throughout the day.
One of the reasons vegetables are so good for you is their antioxidant content. But like vitamin C, antioxidants can be broken down during cooking. Some water-soluble antioxidants can leach into the cooking water, while other antioxidants can be neutralized by the cooking oil.
More variety in vegetable texture
One of the benefits of eating raw vegetables is not related to nutrient content – but simply another way to add variety in your diet. If you usually include a serving of grilled broccoli with your dinner, a piece of raw broccoli can instead add a nice crunch and refresh your dinner.
Likewise, occasionally replacing steamed spinach with a leafy spinach salad will enrich your meal and give you the opportunity to enjoy other seasonal produce (for example, spinach salad with peaches and almonds). With salads, you can be creative and avoid boredom.
>>> See more: Top 7 cooked vegetables will be more nutritious than raw
Disadvantages of eating raw vegetables
While raw vegetables have an important place in any healthy diet, cooked vegetables also have a number of benefits. Some nutrients become more useful when cooked. For example, carrots have more bioavailable beta-carotene – a source of vitamin A – when cooked than when raw. And lycopene, the antioxidant that helps give tomatoes their red color, is best absorbed when cooked.
So eat vegetables cooked through a variety of healthy methods – steaming, boiling, baking – as well as raw. Diversifying cooking methods, as well as types of foods, is key to a diet that is complete and provides the nutrients you need.
Tips for eating raw vegetables
While the exact amount of vegetables you need depends on your age, gender, and activity level, general recommendations are between 2 and 3 cups per day. Both raw and cooked vegetables count towards your intake, but cooking reduces the volume of greens significantly. Note that 2 cups of raw leafy vegetables, like spinach, count as 1 cup of your intake.
Eating salads is a good way to get plenty of raw vegetables. Start with spinach or kale, then top with some white onions, green bell peppers, and broccoli. You can increase your nutritional intake by adding some cooked vegetables, like roasted beets. Top it off with a dressing made with apple cider vinegar and olive oil, which is both heart-healthy and can help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
You can also prepare a snack with raw vegetables. Combine raw green bell peppers and raw broccoli with some hummus, which is rich in protein and can keep you full until your next meal.
The best vegetables to eat raw
Vegetables rich in vitamin C, like broccoli, spinach, and lettuce, are the healthiest to eat raw, as cooking can significantly reduce vitamin C content.
One study reported that when cooked, vitamin C-rich vegetables lost between 9 and 55% of their vitamin C content, depending on how they were cooked. Steaming makes the least change, while boiling destroys the most nutrients. Vegetables rich in vitamin C that should be eaten raw include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Broccoli (eaten raw or steamed)
Next is the group of vegetables containing antioxidants, including:
- Green bell pepper
- White onion
- Herbs and herbs
Green leafy vegetables
Dark, leafy greens are a nutritional booster, packed with healthy fiber, and low in calories. Choose vegetables such as alfalfa sprouts, bok choy, dandelion greens, kale, dark green lettuce, parsley, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress…
Green leafy vegetables also tend to be low in carbohydrates. A 100g serving of alfalfa sprouts contains only 0.4g of carbohydrates, kale has 1.4g and spinach contains 1.6g per serving.
It’s easy to incorporate more green leafy vegetables into your diet. Try tossing a handful of spinach or kale in a salad with Romaine lettuce, or add sprouts to sandwiches, salads… You can chop the vegetables up and mix with a little olive or avocado oil and a pinch of salt. .
Types of tubers
Carrots are a delicious and healthy choice. Not only do they taste great when eaten raw, carrots are sweet, crunchy, succulent and contain only 6g of carbohydrates per 100g. You can soak vinegar to use with many dishes.
Zucchini is also a healthy choice and aids in weight loss. Zucchini contains only 1.8g of carbohydrates per 100g serving. You can cut zucchini into slices, eat it raw with hummus, or cut it into salads and add it to smoothies.
Raw vegetables make an attractive snack
Replace your usual junk food, such as chips or candy, with raw vegetables. Sliced red, orange, and yellow bell peppers with low-fat sauce, it’s also fun to sip!
You can add a handful of fresh mint leaves to sugar-soaked peas or combine cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and crackers for a great snack.
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Healthy Vegetables to eat Raw https://www.livestrong.com/article/430148-healthy-vegetables-to-eat-raw/ Access date: 12/15/2020
What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Vegetables? https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-raw-vegetables-4857.html Access date: 12/15/2020
The Best Raw Veggies For Weight Loss https://www.livestrong.com/article/452233-the-best-raw-veggies-for-weight-loss/ Access date: 12/15/2020
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