What to Read Next

Vegetables: raw or cooked? The healthiest way to eat your greens

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
22 February 2013

Vegetables are the new meat. After the horsemeat scandal and questions over our carnivorous food chain, supermarkets have admitted sales of vegetarian meals sales are on the rise and we turn off meat.

But do you know how to get the best out of your veggies? Some are much healthier eaten raw, but not all.  Here are our top tips for cooking different vegetables the best way.

Vegetable cooking methods:

Light steaming is best as it keeps nutrients in. Aim to steam for a short time so the veg still has a crunch to it.

Roasting in foil is the second best way to cook vegetables. Be sure to pour their roasting juice over them at the end to keep any nutrients that have leached out due to the heat.

[Related: Five easy, cheap ways to get your five-a-day]

Shallow frying does keep the nutrients in but again don't overdo it and make sure the veg is still a little crunchy. This method isn't so good if you're trying to reduce the amount of fat you eat as the veg will absorb some oil.

Stewing or making ratatouille may reduce some of the vitamin C or folate thanks to the heat but many of the other minerals will seep in the cooking juice, which will get eaten anyway

Don't boil.
It makes veg soggy, destroys much of the goodness, and many of the nutrients will end up in the boiling water.

Vegetables best eaten raw

The 'raw food diet' has many followers who insist that cooking food destroys much of its nutrients. This isn't always true, but there are some vegetables that are better eaten raw.

Beetroot loses up to 25 per cent of its folate when cooked, broccoli retains more of its cancer-fighting potential raw and onions' key health ingredient allicin is more potent when eaten raw.

[Related: Why younger women need to think about their heart health]

Red peppers and foods with high levels of vitamin C are often best eaten raw to preserve it.

Vegetables best eaten cooked

Cooking veg above 375°C destroys its vitamin C so aim for short periods of cooking at lower heat.

Carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and kale are better lightly cooked as the caratenoids are more easily absorbed by the body. Cooked tomatoes also give you more heart-protecting lycopene.

Asparagus is best lightly steamed, as the heat releases it's cancer-fighting potential. It also tastes better. Eating spinach cooked will allow you to absorb more calcium, iron, and magnesium.

[Related: The diet foods that are make you fat]

Cooking mushrooms boosts their potassium levels. And again, makes them taste better.

Pairing vegetables for optimum health benefits

Eating certain vegetables together can boost the health benefits of each individual one.

For example, avocados are ideal to eat tossed in a salad as the natural oils allow your body to absorb more of the nutrients from lettuce and other salad veg.

[Related: Is your diet giving you acne?]

Broccoli is best eaten with peppery vegetables such as radishes or watercress as the enzyme that gives them their fiery flavour boost the cancer-fighting properties of the cruciferous veg.

If you're considering going full vegetarian, check out our guide to going veggie healthily, to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

This $625 Intro Bonus Is Insane

A leading credit card issuer just raised its intro bonus to an industry-leading $500 cash or $625 in travel. And no annual fee the first year.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Read This Before Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.

$70/Month Is Too Much For Auto Insurance

If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

An Overlooked Method To Pay Off Your Credit Card

If you're paying credit card interest, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by transferring your balance to this no-fee card.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Save Big on Top Brands at Sears Today

Save On Top Brands and Shop Everything From Appliances, Apparel, Lawn and Garden, Tools and more. 1 store Over 100 million items. It s all at Sears!

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.