T Nation

To Cook or Not To Cook - Veggies


#1

Anybody know of a good place to find whether or not a certain vegetable should be cooked or not. I know some of them are more nutritious when cooked, but I'm worried that some of them lose some of the nutrients when cooked. Any good sites for this? Or am I over thinking it?


#2

If you lightly steam or microwave them you do not lose much if any of the nutrition. Generally boiling them will leach nutrients out into the water. I don’t know if you can increase the nutritional value of anything by cooking it though. Seems counterintuitive.

V


#3

Off the top of my head, I know that the lycopene in tomatoes is more absorbable if they’re cooked. Something about the cell walls being too strong if eaten raw. However, they’re also very good for you if you eat them raw.

My advice would be just eat lots of veggies. Cook some of them, eat some of them raw, but eat them.


#4

[quote]Vegita wrote:
If you lightly steam or microwave them you do not lose much if any of the nutrition. Generally boiling them will leach nutrients out into the water. I don’t know if you can increase the nutritional value of anything by cooking it though. Seems counterintuitive.

V[/quote]

Some veggies/fruits have nutrients that become more bioavailable upon cooking. My guess would be from the heat breaking down the plant’s cell wall and releasing the nutrients contained in them.

EDIT: Looks like skizac already answered that. :smiley:


#5

[quote]Spinach is a vegetable that should be eaten both raw and cooked. Cooking it makes the carotenoids more bioavailable, but it degrades Vitamin C and folate, so eating a combo of cooked and raw seems to be the best bet
[/quote]

From http://www.tmuscle.com/readArticle.do?id=867137


#6

Broccoli is also better nutritionally if it is steamed our microwaved because the process allows the micro-nutrients in the food to transform into a form that is more easily absorbed and utilized by your body. The same is true with spinach, thus your getting more bang for your buck if you do so.

Also, it is easier for your body to absorb the micro-nutrients in broccoli and spinach if they are blended, so if you can handle it, they are great things to toss into smoothies. Just keep in mind that broccoli and spinach are almost 4 times more potent when blended than in their regular form, that will help you get over the taste.


#7

[quote]WestCoast7 wrote:
Broccoli is also better nutritionally if it is steamed our microwaved because the process allows the micro-nutrients in the food to transform into a form that is more easily absorbed and utilized by your body. The same is true with spinach, thus your getting more bang for your buck if you do so.

Also, it is easier for your body to absorb the micro-nutrients in broccoli and spinach if they are blended, so if you can handle it, they are great things to toss into smoothies. Just keep in mind that broccoli and spinach are almost 4 times more potent when blended than in their regular form, that will help you get over the taste.[/quote]

Interesting, whats your source for saying its “4 times more potent”? Also, I presume you mean blended raw? What about steamed AND blended! 10 times more potent?

Anyway, apparently broccoli sprouts are even better:

From the same article:
“Ways to eat them: You might want to consider buying broccoli sprouts when they’re available as they’re 10 to 100 times more powerful than mature broccoli spears.”


#8

My research and numbers came from an article published by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, but there are many other sources out there that confirm the same thing. I do mean blended raw, and unfortunately blending cooked vegetables probably doesn’t allow you to multiply their potency haha.

Popeye ate spinach, enough said


#9

Petition for every poster to have Nyral’s avatar please.


#10

[quote]dtheyer wrote:
Petition for every poster to have Nyral’s avatar please.[/quote]

NOOO I’m a unique individual and that avatar represent my internet incarnation…until I change it…but not yet I kinda like it :smiley: