Vegetables: Raw or cooked?

One of the questioned posed to me this week was which vegetables are more nutritious cooked or raw?

Based on the theories that I have been taught or read up on, the jury is out – for everyone that should be eaten raw, someone else will say cooked.  With the exception of 2:  the mushroom and the tomato.  Mushrooms should always be eaten cooked due to their carcinogenic properties when eaten raw and tomatoes, although can be eaten raw, release more nutrients when warmed or cooked.


The Raw Food Diet has been popular in recent years;  the theory being that cooking above 116 degrees will destroy the vital nutrients and enzymes in the plants.  Eating raw has man benefits: it is healing, cleansing and energising.  Many choose to juice raw veggies in order to get quicker absorption and as an energy elixir.  However, it is rather radical to eat raw 75% of the time and can be hard to digest on some more delicate stomachs.  Also, in this country, particularly in the winter, not so comforting or practical.


So my top tips and key principles when it comes to your veggies are:

  • As far as possible, eat vegetables in Season.  The best way to do this is go to your local farmer’s market.
  • As far as possible, choose organic and non GMO in order to reduce your toxin load.  Check out the “dirty dozen” in your country to find out which fruits and veggies have the highest levels of pesticide residue and go organic for those.  At the very least, always wash your fruits and veggies before you eat them.
  • Fill 50% of your plate at every meal with colourful plants.  Eating leafy greens and the rainbow means you get the full whack of polyphenols and anti-oxidents which are so beneficial to your overall health.
  • Why 50%?  Well, they are low in calories but full of nutrients meaning they will fill you up but also crowd out less beneficial foods.
  • Eating a mainly plant based diet has massive health benefits and reduces your risk of chronic disease – CHD, some cancers, diabetes and also lowers cholesterol.


So – my final advice is to mix it up!   Experiment with vegetables and what you like personally and as a family.  Eat raw and cooked….  the key thing is to eat them!


See what I chose to cook for supper tonight in my video!



What veggies do you love to eat and how do you eat them?


As always – any questions, please drop me a line.


Ali Mortimer
Holistic Health Coach (IIN)
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