Raw isn’t always better – 4 veggies and fruits you should cook

The raw food craze has hit hard in the past few years, but a registered dietitian says some fruits and veggies are actually healthier for you after being cooked, (as long as you don't overcook them.)

Though raw foods are chock full of nutrients, dietitian Brittany Link sat down with KPRC to explain which ones you may want to cook first.

TOMATOES:

First, let's get this out of the way - tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable, which is a common misconception.

Link says when tomatoes are cooked, including in items such as tomato sauce, the lycopene in them becomes more easy to absorb in the body.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives the tomato its red color, and is used to prevent heart disease and cancer, and to treat asthma and human papilloma virus.

RED BELL PEPPER:

Link says the carotenoids, also an antioxidant, are more bioavailable in their cooked form, as well.

Carotenoids are beneficial for boosting the immune system, eye health, and disease prevention. 

CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES:

If your mother ever told you to eat your broccoli, she was right! Brocolli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are the powerhouse of vegetables.

Multiple studies have shown that some have the ability to prevent or even stop cancer growth, as well as detoxify the body of carcinogens before they cause damage.

Link also says that along with cruciferous veggies, asparagus is another vegetable worthy of cooking, as cooking softens the outer shell, making its nutrients more digestible - and makes you less gassy!

"If you think about the stem on a broccoli it's pretty hard. Those cell walls are a little bit harder to get into, so cooking them down a little bit can help you digest it better and get more of those nutrients," Link said.

SPINACH:

Link says spinach is just fine in its raw form, however, because it cooks down to a tiny amount, you're likely to eat much more of it in its cooked form.

The superfood is great for skin, hair, and bone health, and may improve blood sugar, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, and lower the risk of developing asthma.