We love consuming fresh produce and vegetables (especially ones that are seasonal, organic, and come from the local farmers market), but you may want to pause before chomping down on raw broccoli or a kale salad.
According to some studies, some vegetables can be harmful to your health if consumed raw in large quantities or on a consistent basis. Despite the many nutrients, specific chemicals and compounds can interfere with digestion, thyroid hormone synthesis, and cause various gastrointestinal problems. Moreover, the fantastic nutrients are best absorbed when consuming these vegetable cooked. Also, they just taste better!
Here are four vegetables to rethink eating raw:
First on the list is the mighty kale. A superfood leafy green, kale is OK to eat raw (as in, you won't die) but you should do so in moderation. According to research, kale contains "progoitrin, a compound that can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis, and thiocyanate ions, which can crowd out the iodine your thyroid needs." When consumed in large quantities, "one could experience a swelling of the thyroid, often called a goiter."
You don't have to stop eating raw kale salads, just do so in moderations. And try these cooking methods from The Spruce Eats.
You probably shouldn't forge and eat raw, wild mushrooms anytime soon. Some varieties of mushrooms can be harmful on your digestive tract when not cooked.
Sautée, grill, bake, or add this Vitamin D powerhouse to stews this winter for optimal nutrients and health. If you need some ideas, try these grilled mushroom fajitas with asparagus!
3. Brussel SproutsOne of our favorite greens, Brussel sprouts are packed with potassium, folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They are best consumed when cooked. Plus they taste much better when sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and a dash of pepper.
Brocolli, like kale and brussel sprouts, is a Cruciferous or Brassica vegetable. It can be hard on your digestion when consumed raw in large quantities (although a few stems with some hummus is OK). There is also research that suggests broccoli best retains its nutrients when cooked on low heat and with minimal water. To get most from these Vitamin C and protein kings, learn how to steam them properly.