Just to get it out of the way: this is why it makes your pee smell. Now that's over, cooking asparagus is something to consider because it "makes it easier for our bodies to benefit from some of [its] protective antioxidants," like ferulic acid, according to BBCGoodFood.com. You'll find ferulic acid in the ingredients list on skincare products (it may have anti-aging benefits), and it has a wide range of potentially helpful uses in supplement form. Feasting at Home has a recipe for wok-seared asparagus that also has mushrooms it -- an undeniable two-for-one opportunity.
Eating spinach raw isn't a bad thing, and SFGate.com says eating it that way makes it "significantly higher in folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin and potassium" than cooking it. That said, cooking spinach "provides greater amounts of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium and iron." The benefits don't stop there, as sautéing it "helps free up some of its most important carotenoids for absorption", like beta carotene and lutein, which could help ward off vision loss.
Kale has plenty of nutritional benefits however it's consumed, but cooking it increases its iron content. And although it has the same amount of calcium cooked or raw, "to increase the amount of calcium the body absorbs" (emphasis ours), Chron.com suggests pairing it with a calcium-rich food like mac and cheese. Or using it to top a whipped ricotta pizza.
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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and can't imagine eating asparagus raw. Follow him to perfectly al dente tweets at: @LeeBreslouer.