Raw Vegetables or Cooked Vegetables, Which Is Better For Diet?

Do you choose raw vegetables over cooked vegetables to lose weight?

Some people are obsessed with a raw food diet. On the other hand, macrobiotic diet recommends cooked food.

If you look at wild animals, they eat raw food and don’t seem to get sick. Does that work for human beings, too?

According to the book “Catching Fire” written by Richard Wrangham, the reason why human beings are different from animals and have evolved is COOKING. By cooking, energy reached the brain and the brain developed.

Can You Lose Weight With Raw Vegetables?

Raw vegetables sound healthy, but can you eat raw vegetables by themselves?

For example, can you eat broccoli or kale by itself? They can taste horrible. In order to mask the taste of bitterness of raw vegetables, you may need heavy salad dressing. Therefore, you may increase weight instead of losing weight.

Not only the taste, but also the texture of raw vegetables is terrible. They can be tough to chew. As a matter of the fact, raw vegetables are hard to digest because of dietary fibers.

Furthermore, eating raw vegetables will cool down your body. Therefore, it will slow down your metabolism.

It sounds like raw vegetables are not so ideal to lose weight.

Do Cooked Vegetables Lose Nutrients?

Unfortunately, if you cook vegetables, they will lose nutrients.

Vegetables can lose 60% of water-soluble vitamins, calcium, and potassium when cooked. The longer you cook, more they will lose.

For example, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, are rich in vitamin C which is a water-soluble vitamin.

Also, enzymes will be lost when you cook vegetables. The enzymes helps to keep intestines healthy. Moreover, they will kill bacteria that may cause cancer and tumors.

Why Cook Vegetables?

If you cook vegetables, you can digest better than eating raw vegetables. This is because nutrients are attached to vegetable cells. Cooking vegetables will break down the structure. Therefore, the nutrient tends to be better absorbed into the body.

Contrary to water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins will increase bioavailability when cooked. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They are included in carrots and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, parsley, basil, and daikon leaves.

Furthermore, if you add oil to cooked vegetables, the absorption of the nutrients will go up.

Other benefits of cooking is that you can eat more vegetables. When you cook vegetables that contain water, the liquids will be evaporated. Therefore, the volume gets smaller. Some examples are kale, bean sprouts, and cabbage.

Finally, some of the vegetables taste sweeter when cooked. This is because some vegetables that are rich in starch, such as carrot, beet, and sweet potato, will become sugar when cooked.

Do you know what it means? They will increase in calories when cooked.

Cook These Vegetables

Spinach contain oxalic acid which blocks the absorption of iron and calcium. Furthermore, if you eat lots of raw spinach, you may develop urinary and kidney stones. Oxalic acid will be removed by cooking and blanching.

Tomato will increase antioxidants such as lycopene, beta carotene, and rutin by 60% when cooked. According to a study, people on raw food diets have a lack of lycopene. Therefore, they have more risk of heart disease and cancer.

Carrots contain an enzyme called ascorbinase that destroys vitamin C. However, cooking carrots will not activate ascorbinase. Therefore, you will not lose vitamin C when you eat other vitamin C rich vegetables.

The best way to cook vegetables is to steam so that vitamins will not run away. Cooking with high temperatures of more than 120 degree Celsius/248 degree Fahrenheit will cause chemical reaction. Therefore, not only the nutrients are lost, but there is also an increase in cancer risk. So stay away from deep fried vegetables and chard (burned) vegetables from a barbeque.

If you want to stir fry vegetables, cook with low heat. Liquid that comes from vegetables will create a steaming effect. Make sure you use oil. Cooking with oil will prevent nutrients from running away.

Raw Vegetables Are Important

Raw vegetables are hard in texture. Therefore, it makes you chew more. By chewing fibers, vegetables get fermented, and will reach the intestines as food for bacteria. Therefore, it keeps your intestine healthy.

It is true that vegetable cell walls can be broken down if you use Vita-Mix® or high speed blenders. However, if you don’t chew food, the ability of secreting digestion enzyme will decline. Therefore, you cannot digest properly and nutrients won’t be absorbed into the body. Furthermore, the movement of intestines will weaken and less brain hormones will be secreted. Stay away from smoothies, like from Jamba Juice®! Chewing is very important!

The more you chew food, the slower you finish eating. Ideally, you want to spend 20 to 30 minutes to eat meals. In this way, hormones will reach the brain to control appetite, and you will feel full.

How to Eat Raw Vegetables

Raw carrots are rich in polyphenol that reduces risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Thinly sliced raw carrots with hummus can be a good snack.

Raw cabbage is easier to eat if shredded across the fiber. It is refreshing when you eat with meat. Raw cabbage has a good amount of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Many Japanese dishes are served with shredded cabbage.

Raw daikon is known as a digestive aid and is easier to eat when grated. Make sure that you drink the liquid that comes out when grated. That is rich in vitamin C and digestive enzymes. It’s common for Japanese to eat grated daikon daily.
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If you can eat raw onions, you are hard core. Raw onion is rich in allyl sulfide that helps to improve blood circulation and the metabolism. Slice the onion horizontally and soak it in cold water. You will taste less spiciness.

In conclusion, it is important to eat both raw and cooked vegetables. Both raw and cooked vegetables provide nutrients in different ways. The effect varies based on your body condition, location, weather, and seasons. Therefore, balanced food is the successful way of dieting. Let’s cook 500 calories set meal with raw and cooked vegetables!

~Menu~

Main: Cabbage Lasagna

Side 1: Onion Tuna Salad


Side 2: Boiled Sora-mame (Fava beans)


Soup: Tomato Miso Soup


Steamed White Rice


Total 497 Calories

All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.

500 calories set meal cabbage lasagna

Main: Cabbage Lasagna
221 calories

The recipe can be named stuffed cabbage, rolled cabbage and etc.…

Whatever you name it, the process reminds me of lasagna. You place a layer of meat sauce, flat noodle, and cheese one by one. However, there is no pasta in order to cook 500 calories set meal. Instead, you use cabbage. So I call it cabbage lasagna.

You will be surprised how much cabbage you can consume. Moreover, cabbage creates a nice presentation!

Both cabbage and onion contains soluble dietary fiber which comes out as a liquid when cooked. When you cook these vegetables, make sure you drink it. Using potato starch will hold the liquid and makes a great sauce for the dish.

500 calories set meal cabbage lasagna
Cabbage Lasagna
Print Recipe
221 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
500 calories set meal cabbage lasagna
Cabbage Lasagna
Print Recipe
221 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Remove whole leaves of cabbage from the bottom core. Cut off the hard core part. Keep the largest piece of cabbage leaves for the last layer. Slice onions into half an inch thickness.
    cabage lasagna step 1
  2. Place the onions at the bottom of thick pan.
    cabage lasagna step 2
  3. Place cabbage to cover the onions.
    cabage lasagna step 3
  4. Sprinkle potato starch.
    cabage lasagna step4
  5. Spread ground chicken. Note: at first, divide meat into 3 portions.
    cabage lasagna step5
  6. Sprinkle of potato starch again. Repeat the process (cabbage, potato starch, meat, potato starch) 3 times.
    cabage lasagna step6
  7. Place the largest piece of cabbage at the end.
    cabage lasagna step7
  8. Mix chicken broth and soy sauce.
    cabage lasagna step8
  9. Pour over in the pan.
    cabage lasagna step9
  10. Cover and cook with low heat for 30 minutes.
    cabage lasagna step10
  11. If the liquid is too lose, add more potato starch with water at the end. Cut in half with knife.
    cabage lasagna step11
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onion tuna salad
Side 1: Onion Tuna Salad
47 calories

When you slice onion, it will make you cry. This is because onions contain allyl sulfide which stimulates mucus membranes.

Good news is that allyl sulfide will be destroyed when cooked. Bad news is that you will lose the health benefit.

Allyl sulfide will be combined with vitamin B1 and absorbed into the body. This will help improve blood circulation and the metabolism. Furthermore, it releases toxins from the body and burns fat.

But, who likes raw onions. It can be bitter and spicy! This is what you can do to eat raw onions pleasantly.

First, pick up a sweet onion. Next you slice it horizontally. In this way, it will break the dietary fiber, and allyl sulfide will be released. Therefore, it will have less spiciness.

If it is still hard to eat, soak the sliced onions in cold water. However, do not soak more than 5 minutes because nutrients will run away. You should taste less spiciness.

onion tuna salad
Onion Tuna Salad
Print Recipe
47 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
onion tuna salad
Onion Tuna Salad
Print Recipe
47 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Thin slice onion horizontally. Cut carrot into thin strips.
    onion tuna salad step 1
  2. Add tuna, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and mayo. Mix well
    onion tuna salad step 2
  3. Leave for 10 to 20 minutes until vegetables get softer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    onion tuna salad step 3
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boiled sora mame fava bean

Side 2: Boiled Sora-mame (Fava beans)
44 calories

Sora-mame means sky beans in Japanese because pods will grow toward sky instead toward ground like other pods. They are much bigger than edamame. It is in season from late spring to early summer.

Fava beans are healthy vegetable base protein. They are rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, and potassium. Vitamin B will promote metabolism. On top of that they are low in calories and good for the dieter!

Before cooking, remove beans from pods by twisting pods. Then, make a cut in dented and/or black area of beans by pushing the back edge of Santoku knife. In this way, salt will be absorbed into beans AND it will be easier to peel the thin skin from the beans in your mouth.

boiled sora mame fava bean
Boiled Sora-mame (Fava beans)
Print Recipe
44 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
boiled sora mame fava bean
Boiled Sora-mame (Fava beans)
Print Recipe
44 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Remove Shell by twisting.
    boiled sora meme fava beans step (1)
  2. Cut the dented/dark part of pod.
    boiled sora meme fava beans step2
  3. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
    boiled sora meme fava beans step3
  4. Drain and soak into cold salt water for 10 minutes. Drain and serve.
    boiled sora meme fava beans step 4
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tomato miso soup

Soup: Tomato Miso Soup
25 calories

Cold salad is not the best way to eat tomato. Tomato can increase nutrients when it is cooked. Tomato soup can be a good option. But, why don’t we add to miso soup for change.

Add the leftover vegetables from cabbage lasagna. Especially, cabbage core is hard to consume itself. Thinly slice it, and add to soup.

Just so you know, cabbage core is the most nutritious part. It contains twice as much potassium and phosphorus as the leaves.

At last, this is my no wasting policy!

tomato miso soup
Tomato Miso Soup
Print Recipe
25 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
tomato miso soup
Tomato Miso Soup
Print Recipe
25 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Slice onion and cabbage core. Cut tomato into small cubes.
    tomato miso soup step 1
  2. Add dashi, onion, and cabbage into pot. Bring to boil. Cook for a few minutes.
    tomato miso soup step 2
  3. Add tomato and miso and cook for a minute.
    tomato miso soup step 3
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500 calories set meal agar diet agar rice

Steamed White Rice
160 calories

Each 500 calories set meal comes with 100g of steamed rice. You will need to cook rice in a rice cooker or in a heavy gage pot. And measure cooked rice for 100 grams. I will show you how to make your cooking life easier. Read more How To Cook And Store Japanese Rice.

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