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5 Foods That Are Healthier Cooked

  • a Care2 favorite by Katie Waldeck
5 Foods That Are Healthier Cooked

You’d be forgiven if you thought that raw is always healthier than cooked. For many fruits and vegetables that’s certainly the case, but it’s not always the case. Cooking some vegetables actually breaks down their tough cellular structure and makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients. Of course, by cooking we mean cooking them the right way. Cooked kale may be healthier than raw kale, but deep-fried kale isn’t better than a raw kale salad. And, sure, if you love your raw kale salad and you can’t stand steamed kale, by all means, keep eating those salads. In the end, though, the best thing you can do is rid yourself of the idea that raw is always healthier than cooked.

Read on to discover some of the vegetables that are healthier cooked.

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1. Spinach.

Cooking spinach boosts your body’s ability to absorb all of the fantastic nutrients this leafy green is loaded with, like calcium, iron, magnesium, lutein and antioxidants like beta-carotene. The amount of calcium, for example, actually triples when you cook spinach.

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2. Kale.

Thanks to its high fiber content, steamed kale can aid in lowering cholesterol. Raw kale also has some cholesterol-lowering effects, but not as much as cooked kale according to whfoods.

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3. Mushrooms.

Cooking mushrooms isn’t just the healthier option, it’s also the safer option. There are several types of mushrooms that are only safe to eat cooked, and even the ones more commonly served raw, like button mushrooms, are hard on your digestion. Mushrooms have very tough cellular structures, so cooking really does wonders on drawing out their nutrients, making them more digestible, and killing any toxins they may contain.

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4. Tomatoes.

Cooking tomatoes boosts the amount of  lycopene that is released into the body. Raw tomatoes, on the other hand, only release about 4% of this antioxidant that has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

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5. Carrots.

Carrots might not help you see in the dark, but they will help improve your eye health thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. Raw carrots — and the beta-carotene they contain — are somewhat difficult for our bodies to digest. But cooking breaks down the tough veggie and, in turn, boosts their nutritional value.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Green Kitchen Tips, Health, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

1164 comments

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7:04PM PDT on Mar 13, 2015

Awesome to know, thanks for posting this!

3:12AM PDT on Mar 12, 2015

Informative

12:16PM PDT on Mar 11, 2015

Thanks for the information....I did not know about these foods, especially spinach. Many times Spinach and kale are sold mixed together for salads. In the future, I will purchase them separately.

10:42PM PST on Feb 7, 2015

Thanks Katie for the useful information.

I didn't know about the kale and spinach.

1:17PM PST on Feb 5, 2015

Thanks for sharing

3:19AM PST on Jan 31, 2015

Love the idea that you can actually increase the body's access to good nutrients by correct cooking - what an informative article!

6:35AM PST on Jan 30, 2015

wow. Didn't know. Thought almost everything was more healthful raw. THANKS

4:36AM PST on Jan 30, 2015

Thanks, but I don't like cooked carrots. I eat the rest but tomatoes don't like me now.

5:07AM PST on Jan 25, 2015

Good info, thanks!

7:44PM PST on Jan 23, 2015

Great information, thanks:)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for your good, natural and simple suggestions here.

Interesting to know, don't really know anyone with this specific problem. Certainly, too much stress…

I know all the reasons NOT to eat a whole lot of stuff. So i choose a few that i love and eat those …

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