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Benefits of Cooking some Vegetables

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If you have been traveling through my site, reading every nook and cranny, you might have noticed that I am not a fan of dietary labels. I believe that every one of us is made up of a unique genetic makeup, and we assimilate nutrients differently.

I NEVER want anyone to feel bad about eating cooked foods. So many times, I hear the frustration and confusion of others as their heads spin with thoughts of, “Do I have to eat 100% raw to be healthy?” “What if I eat some cooked foods, have I failed?” “What percentage of raw do I need to be?” “Are all cooked foods bad for you?”

There are some whole foods that just flat out shouldn’t be consumed raw, but there are others that have increased benefits when eaten cooked. That’s not to say that you have to decide whether or not you eat them raw or cooked, it’s about adding more options to your daily menu as well as optimizing some nutrients. Let’s use carrots as an example. You can enjoy cooked carrots as a side dish and add raw shredded carrots to the dinner salad. So as you read down through this posting, keep an open mind and don’t feel torn as to how you have to eat your veggies.


Whether or not you should cook some of your vegetables depends on your health goals, the nutrients involved, and the cooking methods used. Cooking can decrease water-soluble vitamins like B and C, and depending on the method, minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus can also decline. But at the same time, other nutrients can be amplified or unlocked.

We Must Find Balance

When you were a child, do you remember playing on the teeter-totter at the playground? The enjoyment came when two people of the same size, would hop on and through the springing action of the legs and the force of gravity, you would teeter up and down. Giggling, laughing, while holding on for dear life. But then there were the times when a larger kid would come along and when he or she sat on the other end, up you would go, feet dangling, stranded at the mercy of the person on the other end.

What I am trying to get at is the importance of finding a balance. Some days you might teeter heavier in raw foods, other days you might enjoy cooked food, and then there might be days where you enjoy a combination. Get the best of both worlds. I am sure this isn’t what you were totally expecting to read on a raw food site. I am all for achieving optimal health and what gets YOU there may look different from me or anyone else, and that’s ok. We all teeter to find balance in life.

Comparing the healthfulness of raw and cooked food is complicated, and there are still many mysteries surrounding how the different molecules in plants interact with the human body. Whatever it takes to increase whole foods into your diet, do it. So if you are coming from a cooked diet, change your foods to WHOLE cooked foods, then slowly increase the number of raw foods. Find that balance that brings joy to your life. Eating healthy isn’t meant to be complicated. Often we allow our brain to get in the way and before you know it, you’re all stressed out. I believe stress is as equally damaging to the body as a processed, nutrient-void diet.


Thyroid Issues

If you suffer from thyroid issues, cooking certain vegetables are found to be beneficial. I am sure by now you are aware of a vegetable group that is referred to as the cruciferous family. In their raw state, they are considered to be suppressing your thyroid when eaten in large amounts. Hold on buckwheat! Don’t go writing them off; cruciferous veggies are chalked full of health benefits. They contain cancer-fighting compounds, help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, enhance heart health, and promote estrogen balance.

Commonly Consumed Cruciferous Vegetables:


Gut-Related Issues

Do you suffer from IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, or other digestive issues? If so, certain raw veggies may be making matters worse. Particular vegetables contain insoluble fiber, also known as cellulose, which gives them their shape. If you suffer from digestive issues, you will want to avoid eating those veggies on an empty stomach. They are best eaten when cooked and with other foods that contain soluble fiber. Dicing, mashing, chopping, grating, and blending high-insoluble fiber foods will also make them easier to break down. This process starts the digestion process.

What’s so special about soluble fiber? These veggies are more easily tolerated by your digestive system. It also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable. Soluble fiber helps regulate stool passage through the digestive tract, and as it retains water, it makes the stools softer and bulkier.

Another way to enjoy certain vegetables is to ferment them. This process “pre-digests” the veggies making it easier to absorb. Fermented veggies also contain probiotic microorganisms that help heal the gut. Relieving gut-related issues takes more than just eating the right food, prepared the right way. You might need to introduce some supplements, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, and good stress management is also just as important.

 roasted-corn-on-the-cobVegetables that are high in insoluble fiber include:

Vegetables high in soluble fiber, but lower in insoluble fiber include:
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Plantains
  • Rutabagas
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Taro
  • Winter squash
  • Yams
  • Yuca

Bottom Line:

You have to choose your path, one that resonates with your own body.  I am not here to advocate just ONE way of eating. Everyone is going to have to find the right level of raw for them. Even with all the science and resources out there telling you what you should or shouldn’t eat, the ultimate measure is how you feel. General nutrition guidelines don’t acknowledge you as an individual. Remember the food you eat can be either the safest most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.



When I was 14 years old, I started working full time at our local grocery store in Alaska. In my seven years of being in the “grocery line of duty,” I wore many hats. One hat was that of a florist. When I first started in the floral department, I didn’t know a thing about flowers, other than the fact that I loved them. One of my first duties each morning was to cut the ends off of the fresh flower bouquets and place them in specially designed buckets that were hung at each checkout lane.

One day, I was filling all the check stands with daffodils. They were so fresh that the flowers hadn’t even started to open. I was just about done when my store manager approached me. He looked at the flowers, then at me, asking why in the world was I putting asparagus in the buckets? I was mortified! The look on my face must have painted quite the picture because he walked away laughing. I could still hear his giggle as he rounded the corner and disappeared.

I quickly collected all the “asparagus” from the check stands and made my way to the back of the store where the cooler was. My stock area was right next to the produce. I placed the asparagus in boxes and took them to the produce manager. I was about to explain when he interrupted and asked why I was bringing him daffodils. Daffodils? They are asparagus! He assured me they weren’t and then held up an asparagus and a daffodil side by side. I had been the butt of a joke, and I was more than confused. It took me a long time to stop double-checking which was a flower and which was a vegetable. To this day, I still giggle every time I see one or the other.

Why cooked may be better…

The Drawback of Eating Cooked

Enjoy Cooked



Did you know that the outer part of the carrot is called the cortex and its primary function is to store starch? The inner core is meant mainly for carrying water and other nutrients to the leaves and stem and also for the transport of prepared food (through photosynthesis) from the leaves to the root.

Why cooked may be better…

Juicing is Better Than Eating Raw Carrot Sticks

The Drawback of Eating Cooked

Enjoy Cooked

Sounds all confusing right now, doesn’t it?  Please don’t stress over it, from what I shared, you get different benefits from raw, cooked, and juiced carrots… therefore, enjoy them raw, cooked, and juiced! It’s that simple!



Why cooked may be better…

Enjoy Cooked



You can enjoy bell peppers raw but check to see how you feel after doing so. If you find them hard to digest, you might want to ask yourself if cooking them would help.

Why cooked may be better…

Digestive Issues

Enjoy Cooked



Why cooked may be better…

Oxalic Acid Caution

Can Still Enjoy Raw

Enjoy Cooked


Tomatoes: Cooked With Olive Oil

Tomatoes can be enjoyed raw and cooked. There are benefits of both so why not add both to your world?

Why cooked may be better…

Enjoy cooked

2 thoughts on “Benefits of Cooking some Vegetables

  1. Rita says:

    Dear Amie Sue!
    Thank you for all the valuable information. I am soooooooooo grateful to you!
    Don’t you eat mushrooms raw? I find many mushrooms lose their aroma/flavour when heated! (Straight king oyster)
    On the other hand, you have reassured me with this article, as my husband still likes to eat cooked food. But at least vegan!
    I don’t have such a guilty conscience anymore when I heat food!
    Thank you for your valuable work!
    All the best Rita

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rita,

      The only way I eat raw mushrooms is if they have been marinated in an acid (like lemon juice, etc). Personally, I don’t care for the taste/texture of plain raw mushrooms. I am so thankful to hear that you don’t feel guilty if you eat cooked food. That creates stress in the body which I find to be worse for our health than cooked foods! It’s all about finding a balance between cooked and raw that works for YOUR body. We all respond differently to food and even in how it is prepared. Thank you so much for the feed-back. I love it! blessings, amie sue

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