Raw or cooked: Which vegetables are healthier?

Find out how to prepare your veggies to maximize nutrition.
Health.com // Health.com

Have you always wondered how to prepare vegetables in order to maximize their nutritional content? There's no easy answer, since cooking powers up the nutrients in some vegetables—and does the exact opposite in others.

"Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out the best in them," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a registered dietitian with a practice in Chicago. From asparagus to tomatoes, here's how to get the most from your farmers' market picks.

--By Betsy Stephens, Health magazine 

1 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Asparagus

Eat it: Cooked

Steaming that asparagus ignites its cancer-fighting potential.

2 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Beets

Eat them: Raw

Beets lose more than 25 percent of their folate when cooked. Eating them raw will preserve this brain compound.

3 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Broccoli

Eat it: Raw

Heating deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme in broccoli that helps cleanse the liver of carcinogens.

4 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Mushrooms

Eat them: Cooked

Heating mushrooms—whether you sauté, boil, grill, or roast them—brings out more muscle-building potassium.

5 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Onions

Eat them: Raw

Just slice and eat: You get less of the hunger-busting phytonutrient allicin when you cook onions.

6 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Red Pepper

Eat them: Raw

Their vitamin C breaks down when roasted, fried, or grilled above 375 degrees.

7 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Spinach

Eat it: Cooked

Have it cooked and you'll absorb more calcium, iron, and magnesium.

8 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com

Tomatoes

Eat them: Cooked

Surprise: When you eat tomatoes cooked, your body absorbs more of their cancer-fighting lycopene.

This gallery originally appeared on Health.com.

9 of 10 © Getty Images from Health.com