Vegetables: does heat kill the vitamins in our food?

Raw or Cooked: Does Heat Kill the Vitamins in Our Food?


Vegetables: does heat kill vitamins?

It is said that vegetables contain more nutrients when they are eaten raw. But is that really true? Only partially. Some vegetables are best eaten cooked because they allow the body to better absorb vitamins and minerals.

If you are preparing vegetables for eating, you ideally want to get the full dose of foods like minerals and vitamins. However, the vitamins are often cooked from the vegetables. This is especially true for vitamin C and vitamin B. When cooking a vegetable soup or stew, this is not so bad.

The vitamins are water soluble and therefore simply found in the soup with which you ultimately eat. But if you cook vegetables in boiling water and then discard the liquid, the vitamins will also be wasted. This is the case with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, spinach and peas. They are full of vitamins that are water soluble.

Heat also kills important vitamins. The above-mentioned vegetables should therefore not be cooked in boiling water, but rather steamed or gently fried. So is it better to eat raw vegetables?

Which vegetables are best eaten raw and which are cooked

Not always. There are vegetables that are full of vitamins that can be easily absorbed when eaten raw. This applies, for example, to cress, tomatoes, peppers and lettuce.

However, other vegetables need to be cooked better to release the important nutrients first. The cooking process destroys the cells in the vegetables, which allows the body to better absorb the vitamins. This is true, for example, for the beta-carotene found in carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. In addition, starch and protein are easier to digest when cooked.

Cooking vegetables often improves the taste of the food. This is especially important when it comes to feeding children. If she doesn’t want to eat vegetables at all, it often helps to think about the consistency and prepare vegetables differently.

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends eating two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables a day. According to the DGE, this amount is beneficial for health, reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and prevents obesity.

Source: “BBC”, “DGE”

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