It depends on the type of your vegetables and the way you prefer to eat them. Of course, it is difficult to generalize (as we can’t compare preparing an avocado with preparing a potato), but I hope on your common sence while reading the information below on this topic.
Raw veggies are a great source of fiber, enzymes and microelements. However, in their raw unprocessed state, all their nutritious elements are locked inside the cell walls, making them less bioavailable for your body to use. Chopping or gratting your veggies breaks the plants cell walls and makes the nutrients more available for absorption by the body. And don’t forget about the fermentation! It’s a great technique not only to make your raw veggies more digestible, but also to increase their nutritional value and to add some microorganisms that have a beneficial effect on your health!
If you use non-organic raw vegetables, it would be better to wash them carefully in water with a splash of vinegar. In this way you eliminate the pesticides from your raw veggies, making them safe to eat.
Compared to raw veggies, the steamed ones have a little less enzymes, vitamines and minerals, and phytonutrients. On the other hand, all these healthy components are more bioavailable, and hence, more absorbable to your body. And as you might know, it’s not only about what you eat, but also what your body can absorb from your food.
Here, you need to pay attention to the time of steaming. It should be short. Otherwise your veggies loose all their healthy benefits. Heating up increases the uptake of the carotenoids, but steaming and cooking at high temperature for a long time on the other hand will destroy them. The same with the digestive enzymes: after 20 minutes steaming at the temperature above 90° C, all of them are destroyed! This is the reason why the other cooking methods, like boiling, grilling, stir frying or baking in the oven are better to avoid while preparing your veggies.
Of course, some vegetables like potatoes have to be cooked thoroughly to be able to eat them at all. In any way, plenty of raw/fermented, gently cooked vegatables most of the time and sometimes stir-fryed or baked ones is a key to nutritional success of your diet! And don’t forget about the variety of the veggies on your plate. Make it as colourful as possible and enjoy your meal!