You might call it a tale of two veggies—RAW or cooked. While some say there’s no advantage to eating RAW veggies over cooked veggies, nothing could be further from the truth.
To begin with, raw veggies are packed with enzymes, while cooked veggies are nearly drained of them. But just why are enzymes so important? Without enzymes, vitamins and minerals are ineffective because every vitamin and mineral requires an enzyme to work properly.
Cooked veggies have had most, if not all, of the enzymes cooked out of them because enzymes can’t survive past a certain cooking temperature of approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit—and most cooked veggies are cooked at much higher temps than that. And if you don’t have those enzymes, then you’re not going to absorb whatever vitamins or minerals are left in those cooked veggies. (By the way, vitamin C and the B vitamins are among the first to go when cooking veggies.)
The truth is that RAW veggies still have their enzymes, so you not only get those enzymes, but you also receive activated vitamins and minerals and more, including chlorophyll, lutein and indoles (which fight off unhealthy cells) from green veggies. You also get carotenoids (colorful plant pigments packed with antioxidants for cellular, cardiovascular and immune health) and polyphenols (which act as antioxidants to support cardiovascular health and more) from most RAW veggies.
For example, RAW broccoli retains the enzyme myrosinase, which breaks down glucosinates into a compound called sulforaphane, known to support healthy cells, to keep unhealthy rogue cells at bay and to fight unhealthy bacteria. RAW broccoli also contains those all-important indoles for cellular health. Likewise, RAW broccoli and other RAW green veggies are abundant in chlorophyll, which has an alkalizing nature and a cleansing effect on bodily elimination systems, which results in cleansing the blood, lymph and intracellular fluid. Chlorophyll also delivers oxygen to our tissues and supports the growth of friendly bacteria.
Let’s take a look at the vitamins and minerals that are in the following RAW veggies, but become deactivated once those veggies are cooked. RAW broccoli, RAW spinach and RAW kale contain ample amounts of vitamins A, C, K and folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese and selenium.
And what about cooked broccoli, spinach and kale? You lose out on those “activated” vitamins, minerals and more, since their enzymes and other valuable nutrients are destroyed by the heat.
The bottom line in this tale of two veggies? Choose RAW over cooked.