Are sauteed or roasted red peppers as healthy for you as eating them raw? Watch out because the ORAC values of each may deceive you.
As you see the cooked version (sauteed in this test) is 847. Not bad. Then you take a look at fresh red peppers and you see a number that's almost the same, in fact even slightly lower... 821.
Does this mean that cooking them is more nutritious and makes them healthier? Not exactly. Since ORAC is based off of the total bioavailable antioxidants within 100 grams of food, it's obvious when you think about it why the cooked version tests higher. Whether they be roasted, steamed, or sauteed, upon heating much of their water weight evaporates. Since the cooked peppers are more dense, it's understandable why 100 grams of them is almost the same as the fruit vegetable, in terms of antioxidants. That reduction in water weight compensates for the antioxidants lost during the heat of cooking, in terms of how much are in equal weighted quantities of raw vs. sauteed.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010