Nowadays no one doubts that the consumption of vegetables is one of the main daily sources of a healthy diet, but it is not worth filling the pantry with colors in the form of tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines … You have to know also how to cook all these foods.
The way we treat vegetables influences how we assimilate their vitamins and nutrients , in addition to the fact that if we do not cook them correctly they can be the cause of problems in the digestive system such as gases , bloating or constipation.
Tomato, better cooked
The strong point of the tomato is found in lycopene, a natural antioxidant very beneficial for cardiovascular diseases and also with important anti-cancer properties . According to several studies, one of them published by the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, that antioxidant potential of lycopene is intensified when we cook tomatoes . In 100 grams of raw tomato we find 2500 mcg of lycopene, while if we cook it we can benefit from 29000mcg of lycopene. 10 times more!
And if we want to get even more out of it, the study highlights that the most recommended thing would be to cook it with olive oil , since lycopene is soluble in fat and, therefore, its absorption improves if we put it together with these.
spinach is another example that high temperatures enhance the properties of a food. The best thing is not to overuse including them in smoothies and make them steamed or, if we cook them, take advantage of the broth to benefit from their high content of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Eggplants and potatoes contain a toxic substance called solanine that can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea or other digestive problems. The way to eliminate this harmful substance from the dish is to cook them and also peel them , points out Dr. Elena Soria, a nutritionist at Clínica Menorca, since “solanine is found just under the skin”.
Cooked, the carrot has fewer calories
The carrot is usually eaten raw, in a grated or sliced version, but if we want to benefit from all its vitamins and minerals, such as beta carotene, it is better to cook it. In addition, it is digested better this way, it avoids problems of indigestion, gas or abdominal pain and they also have fewer calories.
The same happens to wild asparagus. By subjecting them to high temperatures the amount of antioxidants increases and the absorption of vitamins and folic acid by the body is more effective.
Broccoli al dente
Superfood where they exist, broccoli is a food rich in vitamin C, composed with important anti-flu and anti-aging properties . 100 grams of broccoli contain 90 milligrams of vitamin C, 45% more than in the case of orange juice, according to Dr. Soria.
But what happens when we boil or sauté the broccoli? Many experts warn of the loss of this vitamin C in the cooking process. The best, they recommend, is to eat it raw or at most, steamed for one to 3 minutes.
Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a substance related to the prevention of cancer and diabetes. Eating it raw triples its amount of sulforaphane, since high temperatures destroy this compound .
The same happens to the rest of the vegetables of the cruciferous family such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kale or red cabbage.
The pepper , full of vitamins and minerals, loses up to two thirds of its properties if we subject it to high temperatures. If it is indigestible to take it raw, Dr. Soria recommends taking them roasted in the oven: “This way the vitamins are preserved and the fiber gels, making it more digestible” , he explains.
And to maintain the antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect of two kitchen staples such as onion and garlic, it is best to add them raw directly to dishes .
Salads better for lunch
The time of day when we choose a raw or cooked vegetable is important. It is recommended that the raw option is always preferably at mealtime , since it is at that moment when our digestive fire is strongest and the body more easily digests food.
For dinner, it is best to opt for easy-to-digest preparations, the best, vegetable creams.
If you have already proposed to take full advantage of vegetables, we take the opportunity to leave you here the appetizing recipes that appear in this report:
Ratatouille with tomato base
Homemade fried tomato