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Raw vs Cooked veggies

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  • Raw vs Cooked veggies

    I'm not a fan of salad, but I know that cooking can damage/destroy some nutrients, and that raw foods are also important for some enzymes (is it enzymes? something like that... the sort of living part of the food). On the other hand, cooking does make some nutrients more bio-available (buggered if I can remember which ones).

    I used to live on stir-frys a lot - way too high temp cooking damaging the olive oil I used

    I like slow-cooked food, well cooked veggies in soups, as well as lightly cooked things like blanched green beans, just-cooked greens. Big on fried mushrooms and tomatoes.

    What's your view of cooked vs raw vegetables?

  • #2
    Enzymes are irrelevant to absorption of nutrients in everyone with a working pancreas. If they did matter, cooking would decrease the bioavailability of nutrients but in fact it increases it. In a lot of vegetables the antioxidant content is increased many times and subsequently many phytotoxins and antinutrients like oxalic acid (also increasing bioavailability of minerals like the calcium in my kale) are destroyed. And really, as long as you're not burning the hell out of them, there won't be any negative effects and the actual nutrients that are destroyed will be far fewer than the new ones unlocked..

    My consumption of any raw vegetables is for culinary purposes only.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


    • #3
      I believe all plant matter should be processed in some fashion before eating to minimize toxicity:

      Cooking is usually the best method depending on the results you want -- for instance, fermented cabbage is MORE goitrogenic than regular raw cabbage, but the probiotic benefits probably outweigh the downsides as long as you eat it in condiment quantities.


      • #4
        I personally only use vege's as a garnish for the main course so it is probably fairly irrelevant if they are cooked or not. I just go by taste and convenience. I remember watching a programme recently that showed that cooking released more energy from food, including veg, although this does not necessarily mean more nutrients. I tend to think though that if you are eating enough good quality meat the nutrients in veg are less important. This is my personal opinion based on my reading. I think we need to help our digestion, not hinder it, and cooking tends to do that (help it I mean).
        My website:


        • #5
          Thanks for that link, frogfarm, lots of useful stuff there.


          • #6
            And now I'm having a meldown about the amout of oxalates in all the foods I've been using. Chocolate, parsley, spinach, blueberries, beans, peppers, leeks, almonds...


            • #7
              Yeah it can get like that sometimes!
              Although, you know rhubarb leaves are poisonous because of the high oxalate content? Apparently the oxalic acid in fantastic for window if you see me smearing leaves over a mirror, that's why!

              If it helps, I "tuned out" from all the dire warnings by trying to vary all the things I'm poisoning myself with....

              I've always thought the enzyme thing is b*ll*cks BUT things like salad greens, straight from the garden, will be covered in bacteria that may find their way into your gut flora (see latest Cooling Inflammation posts at ). And trust me, lettuce soup is GROSS (thanks for that one Gillian McKeith!) so it's a taste / culinary thing too.


              • #8
                I like a little bit of both worlds, and try not to worry too much about the details. Usually I cook them for meals, but sometimes I'm in the mood for something fresh and raw, so I'll do that sometimes too. I don't think you have to go all one way or the other. Some veggies are better off cooked, while others are quite tasty when raw.

                I often find myself snacking on raw bits when cooking veggies anyways.


                • #9
                  Ahh, I LOVE this subject!

                  Just a short time ago I wanted to eat more raw veggies because I thought I would be getting more nutrients. It did not make much sense to me but I believed it anyways.

                  Today... I cook my veggies if I want to or I will eat them raw if I want to.

                  I enjoy a primal big ass salad everyday and therefore have raw veggies. I then steam/fry in coconut oil veggies for dinner. I also enjoy a raw carrot frequently and raw celery with some almond butter

                  I also enjoy smoothies with greens.

                  I love my omelets and therefore cook the veggies then too. So, do you you want to do!
                  Find me at Cheers!