Which Vegetables Are Healthier? Raw or Cooked

Raw vs. cooked

Have you always wondered how to prepare vegetables in order to maximize their nutritional content? There’s no easy answer, since cooking powers up the nutrients in some vegetables—and does the exact opposite in others.“Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out the best in them,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a registered dietitian with a practice in Chicago. From asparagus to tomatoes, here’s how to get the most from your farmers’ market picks.

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Asparagus

Eat it: CookedSteaming that asparagus ignites its cancer-fighting potential.

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Beets

Eat them: RawBeets lose more than 25 percent of their folate when cooked. Eating them raw will preserve this brain compound.

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Broccoli

Eat it: RawHeating deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme in broccoli that helps cleanse the liver of carcinogens.

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Onions

Eat them: RawJust slice and eat: You get less of the hunger-busting phytonutrient allicin when you cook onions.

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Red peppers

Eat them: RawTheir vitamin C breaks down when roasted, fried, or grilled above 375 degrees.

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Tomatoes

Eat them: CookedSurprise: When you eat tomatoes cooked, your body absorbs more of their cancer-fighting lycopene.

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