8 fruits and vegetables you should eat raw

You already know that you shouldn’t eat raw chicken or eggs (or at least you should). But eating these surprising foods raw can give you additional nutritional benefits.

Good news for anyone who likes a nice crunchy salad or raw vegetables: science offers a good excuse to skip the stove, oven and microwave altogether and prepare some food without cooking.

Turns out, food can be healthier when eaten raw, or at least when it comes to these eight fruits and vegetables. Keep reading to see how.

Broccoli in a pile at a markets_derevianko/Shutterstock

Broccoli

You may have been encouraged to eat your broccoli when you were a child, but you may not have been told that it is better to eat it raw than cooked. Broccoli contains high amounts of an antioxidant compound called sulforaphane, which may help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, depression and more harmful health conditions. And a study published in 2008 in Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that our bodies absorb sulforaphane faster when we eat broccoli raw instead of cooked.

Another 2009 study found that cooking the vegetable in various ways — including microwaving, boiling and stir-frying — lowered vitamin C levels. If you can’t bear the thought of raw broccoli, try steaming it. That cooking method had the least effect on nutrients. (Here are 10 foods with more fiber than broccoli.)

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