7 Vegetables that are Healthier When You Cook Them

1. Carrots

This may not be good news to those who snack on sweet baby carrots, but if you want to get more nutrients of out carrots, you need to steam them.

Carrots release more beta carotene after cooking. Our bodies convert beta carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyesight, healthy skin and a strong immune system.

2. Dark Leafy Greens

Adding raw kale to your salad is a big mistake. Despite this veggie being loaded with fiber, the leaves contain oxalic acid, a toxin that can cause stomach and kidney problems when taken in high doses. If you’re going to consume large amounts of dark, leafy greens, it’s best to cook them.

3. Asparagus

While it’s safe to eat asparagus raw, it’s more nutritious when cooked. Cooking will increase the bioavailability of the nutrients and antioxidants in this veggie.

If that’s not convincing, remember that cooked asparagus tastes much better than raw asparagus.

4. Tomatoes

Even though tomatoes are a fruit, many of us think of them as veggies. For that reason, they deserve a spot on this list.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and improves heart health, according to research. Tomatoes release more lycopene when they’re cooked.

5. Spinach

Just like dark, leafy greens, raw spinach contains oxalic acid. Luckily, you can break down this toxin by heating up spinach.

Vegetarian Times also explain that you’ll absorb higher amounts of fiber, zinc, calcium, iron, protein, and vitamins A and E when you heat up spinach. Steaming is a great way to cook spinach without losing nutrients.

6. Eggplant

Chances are you don’t eat raw eggplant, and it’s best to keep things that way. Raw eggplant contains a toxin called solanine, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.

The consoling thing is you’d have to eat a whole raw eggplant to experience the side effects. But to be on the safe side, cook your eggplant.

7. Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C, manganese, and protein. However, raw sprouts of any kind may contain harmful bacteria.

Sprouts grow in warm, humid conditions, which are ideal for the growth of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. In fact, over the last 20 years, the FDA has linked48 food-borne illness outbreaks for raw or lightly cooked sprouts.