Are certain vegetables better when eaten raw?
Yes, definitely. That’s because cooking, especially when done incorrectly, can destroy some of the essential nutrients in vegetables.
You’ve probably heard people say that veggies should rather be eaten raw.
Is that the case with all vegetables or only certain ones?
In this article I will answer all your raw veggie questions!
In this article I will discuss:
Why should certain vegetables be eaten raw?
Before we get to the list of vegetables that is better to eat raw, let me first give you a bit of background.
It all has to do with nutrition.
And nutrition is the very reason we eat vegetables, or any food, for that matter.
Vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins, like iron, folate, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
These nutrients are necessary for growth, development and everyday health.
The problem, though, is that certain cooking processes destroy these nutrients to different degrees. Especially when done incorrectly, like overcooking.
Excess heat plays a major role when it comes to the destruction of nutrients, like antioxidants.
I have to add, though, that heating and cooking vegetables isn’t always just bad.
There are cases where some nutrients are promoted when cooked.
According to Cornell University, tomatoes are healthier for you when cooked, even if some vitamin C was lost due to heat exposure.
So it’s all about balance. Some veggies are better cooked, and some are better raw.
In this article, I will cover the latter.
Which vegetables are best eaten raw
There are numerous types of vegetables that are better when eaten raw, I will go over the 10 most common ones.
When most people hear lettuce, they think salads.
But these green leafy vegetables, rich in vitamin A, can be served in smoothies and juices as well.
Threy also make a great addition to health sandwiches.
Onions are rich in antioxidants which promotes liver health.
Allicin is another compound in onions. It’s responsible for the well-known smell of onions and garlic.
When you eat onions raw, allicin promotes bone density, helps with high blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease.
Beetroot is another amazing vegetable that helps lower blood pressure and gives your energy levels a boost when you eat it raw.
These brightly coloured veggies are loaded with iron and folate, amongst a range of other nutrients.
They are delicious when enjoyed as a smoothie or juice, blended in with other veggies like carrots and kale. Finely grated, they make a great addition to salads.
Remember when I said tomatoes are better cooked?
If it’s vitamin C you’re after, raw tomatoes is one of the ways to go.
They’re also loaded with other antioxidants that will help protect your cells against free radicals.
As a bonus, they taste great raw and makes an excellent addition to salads.
This well-known vegetable contains vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese, protein and fiber, amongst others.
Furthermore, it contains high levels of antioxidants, can help with weight loss, helps lower blood sugar and aids in digestion.
They are great as an on-the-go snack, on health sandwiches and in salads.
Broccoli is one of those power veggies!
It’s loaded with nutritional elements including potassium, calcium, antioxidants and vitamin C.
To give you an idea, a cup of broccoli has the same amount of vitamin C as an orange, the fruit most well-known for its vitamin C content!
Broccoli also contains protein and sulforaphane, a compound that helps fight cancer.
Carrots are best known for their high levels of vitamin A.
But hey also contain a heap of other healthy compounds like vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium.
They make great additions to smoothies and juices as well as snacks on the go, either whole or sliced up.
As mentioned before, garlic contains allicin, the same compound that’s in onions.
Along with reducing blood pressure, it lowers the risk of lung cancer, strengthens the immune system and is anti-inflammatory.
Garlic may seem like a bit of a challenge to eat raw. You can easily work around this by eating it with a bit of honey or using it in salads.
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are rich in nutrients and contain potassium, folate, vitamin A and vitamin E, amongst others.
They also burst with vitamin C. Half a cup of sliced bell pepper can provide up to 100% of your recommended daily intake!
These brightly coloured veggies can be enjoyed as a snack when sliced up and they make a great colorful addition to salads.
Radishes are one of the vegetables that needs more appreciation.
They are used in traditional Chinese medicine for fever, inflammation and a sore throat.
The part of the radish we use most often isn’t actually a tuber of a bulb, but a modified root.
There is a whole list of nutrients in radishes.
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Radishes further have antifungal and anticancer properties, and supports a healthy digestive system.
They can be eaten sliced up, but most people prefer to use them in salads.
There are heaps more vegetables that can be eaten raw, as well as a large number that is healthier when eaten raw.
When you want to eat vegetables raw, it’s absolutely essential that they are fresh.
When you have your own vegetable garden, you have the advantage of fresh nutritional vegetables being available when you need them.
If you’ve thought of starting your own vegetable garden, I recommend you read this article to see why that is a great idea!