Vegetables are the foundation of good eating. No healthy meal can be complete without vegetables. Not only do vegetables fortify our health, they also add visual appeal, flavour and crunch to the meal. Loade with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fibre, this low calorie high nutrient group is one of the most valuable elements in our current lifestyles. You can eat as much of them as you want without worrying much about calories. They can almost be trated as fre foods with the exception of potatoes, seet potatoes, and other starches which need to be watched.
Whether vegetables are beneficial raw or cooked has been the subject of debate and much interest. Evidence suggests that cooking vegetables has some harmful effects, as it destroys nutreints and enzymes. However, cooking helps as well as it kils potentially harmful organisms and makes it safe. It also actually improves the bio-availability of certain nutreints and improves digestibility.
The truth is that vegetables are beneficial in both raw and cooked state.
Cooking vegetables decreases the water soluble and heat-sensitive nutreints,such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B and folic acid. In fact, it was reported that consumption of sald and raw vegetable has ben found to be positively associated with higher level of these nutrients among adults in population. It also showed that higher levels of these nutrients among salad consumers suggsted better absorption.
Some enzymes too are destroyed by heat. garlic abd cruciferous vegetables, which includ cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts, contain special enzymes with anti-cancer properties. One of the common examples is garlic, which contains the enzyme alliinase that converts allin to allicin. It is activated by crushing or cutting the garlic and can be completely inactivate by 60 seconds of microwave heating. However, when garlic is crushed and allowed to stand for 10 minutes prior to being microwaved for 60 seconds, it retains some of its enzyme activity.
Increasing cooking time and temperatures of vegetables create some harmful by-products called dietary advanced glycation end products. AGEs in our food can lead to several diseases including allergies, digestive disorders, arthritis, asthma, aches and pains; it can also accelerate ageing.
Most vegetables when taken as raw leave an alkaline ash which helps in better absoprtion of several nutrients. In fact, raw vegetables have been found to be strongly associated with protection against cancer, paricularly esophageal, gastric, and breast cancers, than cooked vegetables.
Vegetables are a must for good health. Ensure you have a good mix of both raw and cooked vegetables to maximize their benefits, but by no meansovercook them. Remember however, that salads, vegetable juices and raw vegetables can be a source of infection. Consume them only when highest levels of hygiene are being maintained.
references :From IE Health