Cooking Vegetables Can Improve Vitamin Absorption. Heat degradation is minimal.
Here’s a great quora post summarizing that most vitamins do not degrade with most cooking methods.
- Vitamin A does not degrade below 490 degrees over one hour. It’s very stable and will generally still be around when the vegetable itself is already inedible.
- Vitamins D, E, and K are unaffected by heat.
- Thiamine (B1) degrades above 212F, again not much of an issue unless you like your steaks like bricks (medium is 175F).
- Riboflavin (B2) does not degrade in heat
- Naicin (B3) and Biotin (B7) do neither
- Pantothenic Acid (B5) degrades in heat relatively fast, but you’re getting your daily recommended amount (RDA) just by eating.
- Folate (B9) is easily degraded in heat and is important, especially to pregnant women, because it converts into B12. You get, however, your RDA relatively easily just by eating a normal diet.
- B6 and B12 do not degrade
- Vitamin C does degrade but since you’re getting it from fruits, many of which are not being cooked at all, it’s no issue.
As this site says
cooking softens plant cells and improves absorption of carotenoids.
As this site says
Studies have also found that we only absorb 1-2% of the beta-carotene in vegetables like carrots, but cooking can raise the level we can absorb to over 75% 5
5. Erdman, et al. (1993). “Absorption and transport of carotenoids.” Annual NY Academy of Sciences 691, 76-85.
As this site says…
The bioavailability of beta-carotene and other carotenoids increases several-fold during cooking because heat releases these substance from proteins to which they are bound in foods
I’ve read about cooking increasing vitamin A absorption a few times. I wouldn’t be surprised if other fat soluble vitamins are also more easily absorbed after cooking.
Humans have been cooking for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s one reason for their ascension as a species.
I have a preference for cooked vegetables in that I find it much easier to eat a lot of cooked vegetables than it is to eat raw vegetables or even green smoothies. Still, I like both…