We all know how important getting our five a day is, as well as the plethora of health benefits on offer when we do. But have you ever questioned whether it was better to eat certain vegetables raw or cooked? Fear not – we’re here to take the guess work out for you. See below for our list of popular vegetables and how to get the most out of them.
What’s Better – Cooked or Raw?
First up is cauliflower. Member of the cruciferous family, this vegetable is rich in both Vitamin C and K. Cauliflower also possesses high levels of folate, an essential B vitamin that helps to support growth and the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. See the wide variety of benefits cruciferous vegetables have to offer here.
Can you eat cauliflower raw?
Yes, you can. Despite boiling being the most popular way to eat this veg, many nutrients are lost throughout the boiling process. So, to make to most out of this highly nutritious vegetable, why not throw them in your slaw or give the famous cauliflower rice a go?
Next up on the list is beetroot. A great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fibre, this brightly coloured veg is full of the good stuff. Betacyanin, which gives this veg its rich purple colour, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
So, what’s the best way to eat this vibrant veg?
When cooked, the beneficial phytonutrients found in beets can be lost, thus losing their valuable vitamins, too. So, why not try finely grated in a salad or in a sandwich of your choosing to reap the vast benefits of raw beets?
A member of the Apiaceae family, alongside carrots and parsley, popular healthy snack celery is bursting with health benefits. A good source of fibre, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and calcium, this is a veg that should certainly be celebrated.
Despite its status as a raw, healthy, on-the-go snack, celery retains many of its nutritional benefits when steamed or cooked. So, if you’re not the biggest fan of this peppery crunchy veg, why not try cooked in a Bolognese or raw in a smoothie? The choice is yours!
Low in calories, a great source of fibre and full of beta-carotene, carrots are a great versatile veg for a light snack or as part of a main meal. This root veg is a great source of vitamin A thanks to its abundance of beta-carotene, a vital vitamin for our eyes.
When chopped and cooked, the beta-carotene stores in the carrots are released. So, to make the most out of the vitamin A available, we recommend that you cook your carrots with your Sunday roast or simply try as a tasty side, tossed in honey.
Next up on the list is broccoli. With a wide range of nutrients available such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc, this vegetable truly packs a nutritional punch. Member of the cabbage family and a great source of beta-carotene, broccoli is another amazing source of vitamin A.
Can you eat broccoli raw?
Yes, you can. When cooked, this leafy green may lose much of its vitamin C content, so we recommend trying tossed in a pasta salad or even on the go with a dip of your choosing!
Championed for its vast amount of health benefits, spinach is a fantastic way to pack in those nutrients and vitamins. With high amounts of iron, this leafy green is just what you need for a healthy hit of energy and is a great source of vitamin K to support bone health.
So, to make the most out of this superfood, we recommend adding it to your salad next time you reach for that bag of spinach!
Want to know more about this powerful veg? Read more about the health benefits of spinach and spinach juice.
Last, but certainly not least, is asparagus. A member of the Lily family and packed full of health benefits, asparagus is amazingly nutritious. With high levels of folic acid, potassium, fibre, vitamins A and C, this superfood is an absolute must to add to your repertoire. Acting as a prebiotic, asparagus also aids the digestive system by feeding the beneficial bacteria found in our digestive systems.
Can you eat asparagus raw?
We know it’s healthy, but can it be eaten raw? Yes, it can! Cooking asparagus can boost its antioxidant properties, but may also contribute towards nutrient loss. To truly benefit from its wide range of nutrients, we recommend having it both raw and cooked! Why not try it raw, shredded in a colourful salad or cooked alongside your favourite pasta dish?
5 a Day, the Easy Way
Here at V8, we’re passionate about helping people to get their daily recommended serving of fruit and veg. Many of the vegetables mentioned above can be found in our V8 Original Vegetable Juice – and having just one glass a day is a simple and delicious way to reach your five a day!
Feeling inspired? Check out our best vegetables for smoothies here and make sure to send us your photos using the buttons below!