Produce Prep: Raw or Cooked?

Adding plenty of fresh produce to your daily diet is just one part of living healthy. You also have to know how to prepare them to preserve their nutritional value.

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Supercharge your vegetables by learning how to get the most out of them.

Garlic: Raw!

Garlic contains chemicals that relax your blood vessels, helping to protect them from heart disease. Cooking garlic reduces the amount of these vital chemicals, so it’s better to enjoy garlic raw.

Broccoli: Raw!

Broccoli contains cancer-fighting elements that our bodies love. When consumed raw, these chemicals are more readily absorbed into the body.

Spinach: Cooked!

Though raw spinach is still good for you, cooked spinach makes it easier for your body to absorb the calcium it contains. Calcium is essential for bone strength, so make sure you get the most out of your spinach. Steam your spinach rather than boiling it to avoid losing nutrients.

Carrots: Cooked!

Carrots are better for you when cooked. While they are great raw, when cooked, they release more beta carotene (vitamin A). It’s best to cook carrots with the peel intact.

Red Peppers: Raw!

Red peppers are high in vitamin C, which is a water-soluble nutrient. By cooking or boiling red peppers, the vitamins escape and dissolve in the water. It’s best to eat red peppers raw.

Onions: Cooked!

Onions contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Cooking increases the total amount of flavonoids. Red and yellow onions have more flavonoids than white onions. Bake or sauté onions for 5 minutes; any longer and the onion will begin to lose nutrients.