9 Foods That Are Healthier When Cooked

Dec 6, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Veggies Healthier When Cooked: Cooking helps your body absorb the nutrients in these vegetables
Image: Getty Images

Eating raw food is great, but for me, eating nothing but raw produce is a bit much. There's only so much chopped broccoli salad a girl can eat. Thankfully, it turns out that not only are cooked veggies plenty healthy in their own right, but there are actually some that are even healthier (meaning, their nutrients are more accessible) after being cooked.

The key, as always, is mixing and matching your produce intake so you get the best variety of nutrients possible. Cooking tomatoes increases the amount of available lycopene, but decreases the amount of vitamin C per serving; but you can make up for the lost vitamin C by serving them with broccoli at the same meal, which retains enough vitamin C after cooking to give you 107 percent of your daily recommended intake per half-cup serving or by snacking on raw red pepper or strawberries at some other point in your day.

The best cooking method? For most vegetables, it seems to be gently simmering them, whole or in large chunks (you can cut them smaller before serving) in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Make sure to serve with a drizzle of olive, walnut or flaxseed oil or a wedge of avocado — healthy fats like these aid the body in absorbing essential vitamins and minerals.

Time to get cooking! Learn about the vegetables that are healthier when cooked in the following slides.

1 /10: Potatoes

1/10 :Potatoes

2/10 :Tomatoes

3/10 :Carrots

4 /10: Spinach

4/10 :Spinach

5 /10: Asparagus

5/10 :Asparagus

6 /10: Pumpkin

6/10 :Pumpkin

7/10 :Mushrooms

8/10 :Kale

9 /10: Broccoli

9/10 :Broccoli

10 /10: Pin it!

Image: Yvonna Groom/SheKnows

10/10 :Pin it!