Vegetable Nutrition Facts

Cooked or Raw Vegetables?

Some vegetables are more nutritious when raw, where as some vegetables will yield nutrients to the fullest when cooked. The question is Cooked or Raw Vegetables or and which ones to avoid.

Vegetables whether eaten raw or fresh, adds color, flavour and variety to the menu. Other than that, vegetables are a best bet to be eaten raw and fill up your tummy too without adding much to the daily calorie count.

Cooked or Raw Vegetables

Which Vegetables Are Good To Be Eaten Raw And Which Ones Cooked?

Cooked Vegetables

Here is a list of vegetables that should be cooked before eating.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and bok choy etc. Many of us are fine to eat these vegetables raw. But, as sugars found in these vegetables are difficult to digest, some people may experience gas and bloating. These sugars are easily digestible once cooked. Raw cruciferous vegetables inhibits iodine metabolism which is needed in the formation of thyroid hormone. So people suffering from hypothyroidism should be specially taking care in consuming these vegetables raw.


Most of us eat cooked potatoes. Starch in raw potatoes can result in digestive problems like bloating and gas. Potatoes, specially the green ones have a high concentration of solanine, a dangerous toxin. Potatoes have anti-nutrients, which are there to repel bugs, pests and other predators so that the vegetable grow and reproduce. Cooking make it more palatable and healthy to eat. Potatoes can be boiled, baked, sautéd or steamed etc.


Brinjal contain a compound called solanine which inhibits calcium absorption. It can also cause solanine poisoning causing neurological and gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms can be dizziness, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Solanine in brinjal is neutralised as we cook it.


Some bean varieties like hyacinth and lima beans, are dangerous to consume raw. These beans contain a toxic amino acid called cyanogenic glycoside. This compound is part of the cyanide family and releases when the plant comes under pest attack, or when the vegetable is picked. To remove the toxicity, it is important to soak and ground them. However, poisoning will occur if raw beans are consumed in large amount.


According to a research published in the International a journal of Food Science and Nutrition, if tomato is eaten raw then we get only 4% of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. This happened because of the thick cellular walls of raw tomato. This red veggie like fruit delight, when cooked make it easier for our body to utilize lycopene.


This super vegetable is rich in cancer fighting nutrients like vitamin E, C and A, as well as folate. Like tomato, it’s thick cellular walls make it hard to absorb these nutrients.  Cooking breaks down the fibres and most of vitamins can be absorbed. Steaming is the best way to avail all the nutrients from this green delight.

cooked or raw vegetables asparagus




If you want to avail the full content of potassium from mushrooms then eat it cooked instead of raw.


Cooked spinach will make our body absorb more iron, calcium and magnesium. Green vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens have a compound called oxalic acid that is binding calcium, hence it’s not fully absorbed when eaten raw. Cooking releases some of the calcium that is bound to oxalic acid, thus making it available for absorption.


Lutein, an antioxidant, is found in corn. According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemistry, the longer the  ornamental was cooked, the higher the level of lutein.

Vegetables to Eat Raw

The following list of vegetables that are better eaten as raw as compared to cooking them.


It has a phytonutrient called allicin, which is a hunger busting nutrient. You get less of this phytonutrient when onion is cooked. Onions are best when eaten fresh as cooking destroys the antioxidants that provides protection against prostate and lung cancer.

Beet root

This vegetable with a royal color will lose around 25% of its folate content. Raw beet root will preserve it’s folate.


Though it’s a cruciferous vegetables, but heating deactivates an enzyme called myrosinase, which helps cleanse the carcinogens from the liver.




Garlic, tiny in size but with mighty benefits has long been recognised. An anti-microbial compound, allicin, found in garlic  is destroyed by heat if cooked for more than 5 minutes. But cooked garlic retains other nutrients when cooked, so all nutrients are not lost

How to cook vegetables properly

Now that the question cooked or raw vegetables is cleared, here are some cooking methods:

  • Boiling vegetables causes water soluble nutrient like vitamin C, vitamin B1 and folate to get dissolved in water.
  • Steaming is a perfect way to cook vegetables as water doesn’t come in direct contact with the vegetables.
  • Baking, grilling and stir frying also preserve great amount of nutrients in vegetables.


Do you know any other veggies that you think will increase our understanding about cooked or raw vegetables? Let us know in the comment section below.







Yusra Kashif
Latest posts by Yusra Kashif (see all)

Yusra Kashif

Yusra Kashif has done masters in Food and Nutrition. She has also worked as a Dietitian in an international hospital and as a teacher in a private school. Currently she is taking a further degree in “Food and Nutrition Advisor” from U.K. She loves crafts, baking, cooking and exploring. Yusra is currently a stay at home mum and a part time writer.

Leave a Reply