5 Vegetables You Should Cook to Make Them Healthier
Most of the time eating raw food is considered healthy as many enzymes and nutrients get destroyed during the process of cooking. However, in some cases, cooking can make the nutrients more available to the body. Cooking breaks down the cell wall, within which vitamins and nutrients are present, making it available for absorption by the body. Some of the best methods of cooking vegetables are roasting, steaming and stir-frying. Cooking will also make the vegetables easy to chew and digest. So, here is a list of food you should cook to make them healthier.
Loaded with iron and other nutrients, spinach is one vegetable you must eat regularly. It is advisable to cook it before you consume it as high-temperature breaks down oxalic acid, which blocks calcium and iron absorption by the body. So, once spinach is cooked, iron and calcium present in the vegetable is readily absorbed by the body. The best way to cook it is to dip it in the boiling water for about a minute and then plunge it in cold water for few minutes. This will lower the amount oxalic acid by 40 percent. This method is more effective than pressure cooking or pan frying.
Rich in carotenoids, the cancer-fighting nutrient that also acts as an antioxidant, carrots protect your body against ageing process. Carotenoids fight the free radicals and clear toxins. According to research, cooking carrots can increase the level of carotenoids by 14 percent. However, you need to boil carrots without slicing to increase the carotenoid concentration. Frying in a pan can decrease the concentration by 13 percent. (ALSO READ 7 reasons to drink carrot juice every day).
Kale is a superfood and contains several essential nutrients. Cooking kale will not only make it more palatable but will also make it healthier. The ability of the green leafy vegetable to lower the cholesterol level improves with cooking.
Cooking tomatoes will increase the level of lycopene, a phytochemical, which is associated with decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer. According to a study conducted in 2002, the level of lycopene increases by 35 percent by cooking it at 190.4 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Cooking also increases the amount of antioxidant in the vegetable. You can roast tomatoes in the oven and add it to your salad.
As compared to raw mushrooms, the cooked ones have twice the amount of zinc, magnesium, potassium and niacin. Stir fry mushrooms with as little oil as possible as the vegetable can soak up fat. Sometimes, small amounts of toxins are present in edible mushroom and it can be destroyed by cooking. You can eat mushrooms as a side dish or along with whole grains.
So next time you are planning to eat salad or something healthy, cook the carrots and mushrooms to make them healthier.