Your Guide To Enjoying These 11 Popular Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and Veggies

Nx86xdrewssexybody-3Written by: Kirsten Cowart

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables are good for you, but do you know when it’s more beneficial to eat them raw or cooked?

And if it’s better to cook them, then are there methods of cooking that are better than others to preserve the vitamins and minerals?  

Here is your guide to eating these 11 delicious fruits and vegetables:

1. For Tomatoes – Cooked May Be Better Than Raw.

To properly store tomatoes to maximize nutritional value, you need to keep them at room temperature. I know that will reduce their shelf life, but it will make sure that the flavor and antioxidants are preserved.

When you cook tomatoes, they will have more antioxidants and release higher levels of lycopene, which lowers your risk of cancer. The benefit to eating raw tomatoes is that you will get more vitamin C.

2. For Carrots – Cooked May Be Better Than Raw.

When you cook your carrots, you will get more beta-carotene out of them.  Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that gets transformed into vitamin A inside your body. Vitamin A helps your immune system and eyes.

Steaming or boiling your carrots will preserve the antioxidants much better than if you microwave, fry or roast them.  You want them to remain a bit crunchier for optimal benefits.

3. For Broccoli – Healthy Both Cooked And Raw.

Keep your broccoli packaged up inside the refrigerator at 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). Broccoli loses its antioxidants faster than other veggies, especially when it’s stored without packaging. That is when it will start to turn yellow.

Wrap up the broccoli in some micro-perforated or nonperforated packaging to help keep antioxidants inside for longer.

If you eat it broccoli raw, you will get more enzymes called myrosinase, which will help block the growth of cancer cells and fight off the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers known as Helicobacter pylori. That enzyme is destroyed when the broccoli is heated.  

Cooking broccoli will help protect you against cancer and steamed broccoli will help you reduce your cholesterol. Be aware though that if you do boil broccoli, much of its nutrients are pulled into the water. Combining both stir frying and boiling (like in Chinese cuisine) will cause most of the vitamin C and nutrients to be lost.  

Steaming will keep the nutrients more in tact than any other cooking method.

4. For Cauliflower – Healthy Both Cooked And Raw.

Raw cauliflower has 30% more protein than it does after it’s cooked. The raw version will also have more antioxidants such as quercetin. The benefits to cooking cauliflower is that it will help increase indole levels.  

Do not boil your cauliflower in water. Blanching and water-boiling will cause your cauliflower to lose many of its antioxidants and minerals. If you are going to cook it, then steam it or sous vide it to maintain its nutrients.

5. For Cabbage And Brussel Sprouts – Healthy Both Steamed And Raw.

Cabbage and brussel sprouts are known as cruciferous veggies, which are packed full of nutrients that help protect your body from cancer.  

In fact, one study found that if you were to eat ⅔ of a pound or 300 grams of brussel sprouts a day for one week, it would detox your colon. This may be why there is such a strong link between these foods and lowering the risk of colorectal cancers.

Raw brussel sprouts will give you awesome amounts of vitamin C and folate. If you steam the brussel sprouts, they will release more healthy indole compounds.

6. For Kale – Healthy Both Blanched And Raw.

Kale is an awesome superfood that contains vitamin C, beta-carotene and polyphenols. When you cook the kale, you significantly reduce the amount of vitamin C and antioxidants in it.  

Kale is best when eaten raw, but you can minimize antioxidant loss by blanching or steaming it.

7. For Eggplant – May Be Better Cooked Or Grilled.

Grilled eggplant is delicious and cooking it will increase the antioxidants compared to having it boiled or raw. When you grill the eggplant, make sure you salt the slices first so that you can get rid of the bitterness and excess moisture. 

8. For Red Peppers – Healthy Both Raw And Cooked (Specifically Stir-Fried Or Roasted).

Red peppers are great for you and contain polyphenols, phytochemicals, carotenoids and vitamin C. When you eat them raw, you will get more vitamin C, because it will often break down once it is exposed to heat.  

Other antioxidants such as carotenoids and the awesome ferulic acid will increase when the red peppers are cooked. When you boil red peppers, you lose most of the antioxidants and nutrients. Roasting, stir-frying and steaming have the best results for keeping the red peppers nutrient-packed.

9. For Onions And Garlic – Healthy Both Cooked And Raw.

Both of these awesome foods help you fight high blood pressure. Red onions specifically have the highest amounts of quercetin, which will help you fight off heart disease, aging and cancer.  

Because onions and garlic are so hardy, you can pretty much cook them however you want and still keep the same levels of antioxidants and nutrients.

10. For Artichokes – Cooked May Be Better Than Raw.

Cooking artichokes will boost their antioxidants. Steaming them will actually boost the antioxidant levels 15 times and boiling will boost them 8 times. Just make sure that you don’t fry them, because that will kill all of the flavonoid in them.

11. For Blueberries – Healthy (And Delicious) Both Cooked And Raw.

Blueberries are a great fruit, because they have some of the highest levels of antioxidants. Because of this, you can eat them raw or cooked and still get great amounts of nutrients.  

According to one study, some types of antioxidants go up when you cook the blueberries, but other antioxidant levels go down.  

Bonus Tips:

  • Avoid Deep Frying – Veggie tempura and the hot oil from deep frying will cause vegetables to lose their antioxidants.
  • Fresh is much better than frozen. Many veggies lose their vitamins when they are frozen.


Know any other tips for ways to get your fruits and veggies into your diet in the best ways possible? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!


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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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