To cook or not to cook, that is the question.

This thought was posed recently in my SW group and related entirely to fruit and veg.

One of the other group members shared advise offered by her green grocer. He had said that raw mushrooms, in themselves, have little nutritional value. However when cooked this changes and the cooking process releases all the benefits. He also asserted that this also applied to tomatoes.

Unfortunately he did not share any specifics that could be shared and so I went on a fact hunt to see if this is supported by reliable evidence.

This search was not a long one as the evidence was clearly available.

Mushrooms was my starting point with this article that very clearly explains the benefits gained from cooking mushrooms as well as advice on other foods.

There is a downside which also applies to tomatoes; vitamin C content reducesc at the same time.

The position regarding tomatoes is very specific with tested evidence provided by Cornell University in the states.

Now I must be honest that I do not understand the significance of phytochemicals and antioxidants but I will be reading up on these next. If I have peaked your interest you can do some research yourself.

As I browsed the virtual world of the internet I then found discussions around the benefits of cooking, or not cooking, a wide variety of fruit and veg. I did manage to find a very good Huffington Post article that goes through a range of produce.

Now there has to be at least one caveat to this. Answers to questions are rarely absolute and the same applies here.

I am not a great fan of fads. I will still be eating raw mushrooms as well as cooking them.

You won’t often find me eating raw tomatoes but this has always been the case. The reason is more straight forward, as I do not like them raw. There is no logic involved. It is a matter of personal taste.

Please excuse my use of the finger here. The picture just summed up my view regarding raw tomatoes. They are just gorgeous when cooked.

The main caveat that is shared in the Huffington Post article is that it is better to eat a good range of fruit and veg in the way you will like eating it (even if there are better ways to eat it) than not eat it at all.

Eat a mix and ideally balance your plate with plentiful and varied fruit and veg. If you are a vegetarian or vegan this is easy but the rest of us need to work on that. The planet will also really appreciate a balance away from as much meat for the rest of us.

All in all we should eat well, be informed and make the best choices we can. We can also have some treats.

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