Should You Eat Vegetables Raw?

Man Pondering Handful of Raw Vegetables

You've probably heard that eating vegetables is good for your health. In fact, it might seem as though someone has been trying to drive that point home for most of your life. While it is true that eating cooked veggies is good for you, in some instances it is healthier to eat your vegetables raw. Fact is, cooking can destroy vital nutrients and even kill important enzymes that could help you digest the food you're eating. However, it really does depend upon what you're eating.

Certainly, eating raw vegetables that have been properly cleaned to remove any pollutants (chemical fertilizers or surface bacteria) is not bad for you. In fact, a raw food diet eliminates processed foods such as breads, cereals, cheese, refined oils and processed meats from your diet. But, cooking vegetables doesn't always destroy essential nutrients, water-soluble vitamins and helpful enzymes. For example, asparagus has more antioxidants once cooked, cooking tomatoes helps your body absorb lycopene and cooked mushrooms have more bioavailable potassium than those eaten raw.

Although the opposite might seem more plausible, raw vegetables are often easier to digest. Plus, uncooked veggies tend to work their way through the digestive system more efficiently. This is important to good health as the longer food sits in the digestive tract the more likely it is to ferment. Not to be confused with pre-fermented foods like kefir or kimchi, fermentation in the gut can cause painful gas and inflammation as well as adversely affect the mucosal lining. Raw foods also help to reduce acidity by alkalizing the body and improving autoimmune functions.

If weight loss is your goal, eating raw foods can help you feel full and reduce mid-meal cravings. Consuming plenty of fiber and natural nutrients makes it a little easier to eat less, this in turn will help you keep unwanted weight off. To learn more about vegetables that are healthier cooked and those that are best eaten raw, contact the Metabolic Research Center. We have the answers as well as great recipes for all types of food preparation.


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