How to Get the Most Nutrients from Vegetables [cooked or raw?]
Raw Vegetables are Hard to Digest
Many food faddists today recommend eating all raw foods. However, raw vegetables (plant foods) are very hard for anyone to digest, particularly anyone with digestive problems and/or those who have candida/yeast overgrowth.
The reason vegetables/plants are hard to digest is because their cell walls are mostly cellulose, and our digestive systems are incapable of breaking down
cellulose. Therefore, the cellulose cell walls of all plant foods must be broken down before they are easily digested, and in order for the nutrients in them to be available, including minerals.
How to Break Down Cell Walls
Breaking down cellulose cell walls of vegetables requires cooking them long enough for their "color"
and "texture" to change, evidence that the cell walls have been broken. Also fermenting vegetables also breaks down their cell walls, i.e. kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.
For example, kale cooked for an hour delivers far more minerals to your bones than lightly steamed kale. Cooking vegetables maximizes the nutrients available, particularly minerals.
Color change means they will get lighter in color. Texture change means they will become softer, which is more noticeable in root vegetables. Root vegetables should be soft enough to easily mash up with a fork.
It takes heat or fermentation, and time to maximizes the nutrients available from plant foods, particularly minerals. In fact fruit and vegetable juices contain no minerals since juicing does not break down cell walls.
Save Mineral-Rich Cooking Water
You can save cooking water for soups and broths, or drink it as is, with some ocean sea salt and spices added, to taste. Or use this mineral-rich cooking water instead of regular water to make Bee's Electrolyte Drink.
It is important to break down the cellulose cell walls of all plant foods, including herbs and spices. That is why tea must be brewed or steeped long enough, and herbs and spices need to be cooked.