In recent times more and more noise is being made about the benefits of eating a raw diet, and in particular raw vegetables.

The raw food diet is growing in popularity as are its number of advocates. So will eating exclusively raw vegetables really improve your health? And does cooking destroy the goodness in vegetables?

The main theory behind eating raw vegetables is that it preserves naturally occurring enzymes. This part is true. But the majority of these enzymes are destroyed by the time they leave our stomachs, due to its highly acidic environment.

What about vitamins and minerals?

The availability of minerals like Vitamin C and Folate decreases the longer a food is cooked. Also cooking in water rather than steaming will further reduce the availability of these nutrients. However rarely will this drop below 50% of the levels found in raw vegetables.

On the other side of the coin there does appear to be some benefit in cooking vegetables when it comes to polyphenols and antioxidants. Cooking can help break down barriers at the molecular level and assist in releasing these helpful compounds.

Also cooking vegetables will help to increase the range and variety of vegetables in your diet as let’s face it, some vegetables just don’t taste good raw.

Think broccoli, zucchini and brown onion.

My recommendations

  • When in comes to preparing vegetables include both cooked and raw varieties in your diet.
  • Never overcook vegetables so they become too soft and slushy. They should maintain a certain level of firmness.
  • Lastly when cooking vegetables choose steaming over boiling. This will keep more nutrients in tact.

No matter whether they are eaten raw or cooked, eating more vegetables as opposed to processed foods will significantly improve your health. For this there is no argument!


  • A great article,when cooking vegetables l will try steaming instead!

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  • I think it is better to eat your veggies a little on the crunchy side

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  • yeah eat things in their natural form, that is best

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  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!

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  • LOve this article, I’m all about the 1/2 raw, 1/2 cooked life mainly because I’m picky about food texture – I can’t STAND carrots unless they’re cooked to within an inch of their life really

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  • also along the lines, i have heard that the water that you cook the vegies in, can be used (once cool) to water plants because of the nutrients in it

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  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article; I like eating a combination of both; raw and cooked vegetables. I love steamed vegetables; nothing better than a plate of steamed vegetables that are still just a little crisp! Yummy!

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  • I figure it doesn’t matter if I eat them raw or cooked, it’s better than eating junk!

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  • thanks for sharing

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  • Great article, I believe over cooking certain vegies can lose nutrients, but overall better to eat overcooked vegies than unhealthy food :)

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  • i have heard this from various people great read though.

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  • When making a broth it’s usual to cook for a long time, does this destroy the goodness or does some of that leech into the liquid of the broth?

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  • I have heard this before. Interesting read. Thanks for sharing

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  • some people always over cook their veg

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  • I have always heard that over cooking destroys the nutrients in veg, we steam ours these days and they always stay firm

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