should i cook my food or eat it raw?

Some foods are more nutritious raw than cooked.

Image of steaming pots on the stove

There are some foods, however, whose nutrients are enhanced by cooking.

To maintain the maximum food value from your food, it is best to eat foods when they are fresh, whether they are cooked or raw. If they are turning brown, their nutritive value is diminishing. Most produce begins losing nutrients right after harvest.

A professor of food science at the University of Arkansas, Luke Howard, published a study claiming that antioxidant levels increased more than 34% after carrots were cooked. To complicate matters, however, some nutrients in food are retained in the raw state while different nutrients in the same food are enhanced by cooking. Try to make it a habit to eat both raw and cooked versions of the same foods when practical.

Steaming vegetables is usually better than boiling when you do cook; it helps to retain water-soluble vitamins.