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August 07, 2019

Is the healthiest way to eat fruits and vegetables raw or cooked?

Huffington Post investigated the question only to find that it's not so black and white

Healthy Eating Fruits and Vegetables
raw cooked vegetables healthier Sven Scheuermeier/Unsplash

As people strive to hit the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every day — five to 13 servings total every day, which most Americans don’t accomplish — some may be wondering if it’s healthier to eat the seasonal harvests in their raw form or cooked.

The truth is, there’s no clear-cut answer as to what is the healthiest way to consume produce — sometimes nutrients are more prominent after cooking, while in other cases raw is the way to go.

Huffington Post talked with Guy Crosby, a food scientist, and a number of other healthy food experts in an effort to nail down an answer for the raw or cooked conundrum.

RELATED READ: Here's the 2019 ranking of the most (and least) pesticide-covered fruits and vegetables

While it depends on what vitamins and nutrients you’re most focused on consuming, HuffPo was able to extrapolate a few times and foods when consumption in cooked or raw form matters.

In tomatoes, for example, cooking can reduce vitamin C levels, but raise the presence of lycopene, a nutrient thought to reduce risk of heart attack and certain cancers. Meanwhile, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and kale are generally regarded to provide the most health benefits when consumed in their raw form.

Mushrooms, on the other hand, seem to have increased levels of  antioxidants and polyphenols when they’re cooked — which increase as heat time rises, HuffPo reports.

Check out Huffington Post’s full report here to learn which of your favorite fruits and vegetables are healthiest when eaten cooked or raw.

And, remember, the most important thing is to try your best to consume tons of produce every day.

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