Are Raw or Cooked Vegetables Better?
Some vegetables when cooked provide more health benefits, while others are drastically decreased. An example would be tomatoes and carrots.
When tomatoes are cooked the amount of lycopene is increased, which has anti-oxidant benefits, more than Vitamin C, like sun protection, heart health and possible protection for lung, prostate and stomach cancer.
When carrots are cooked, there is an increase in beta-carotene which is an anti-oxidant that helps with vision, bone growth and can even boost immunity.
The Power of Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collard greens are well known for their anti-cancer benefits. They contain glucoraphanin that has the ability to be converted into sulforaphane, in the presence of myrosinase. Sulforaphane turns on the NRF2 pathway which turns on over 200 genes, many related to detoxification, ant-inflammatory and anti- aging.
One of the challenges is, when cruciferous vegetables are cooked it destroys the middle man, myrosinase. Myrosinase is activated when you chew, cut or tear the cruciferous vegetable. However, studies show that if you add mustard seed powder, an active source of myrosinase, to the COOKED cruciferous vegetables you will get a 4 fold benefit of the sulforaphane!
Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon to your steam or cooked cruciferous vegetables so that you don’t miss out on the anti-aging, anti-cancerous, heart protective and neuroprotective benefits of sulforaphane’s impact on the NRF2 pathway.