How confusing is the topic of nutrition and the whole debate re raw vs cooked foods? Some say do this, some say absolutely don’t. The real truth is that there is a lot of chemistry involved in the nutritional values of food some foods need to be heated to a particular temperature in order to maximize their nutritional content. Then there’s other vegetables that lose a proportion of their nutritional value in the process of cooking.
Raw food gurus boast that a raw food diet is higher in nutrients, gives you more energy, helps you sleep, improves your skin, rids you of allergies, strengthens immune system, improves almost every disease, etc. This all sounds very similar to the affects of any diet high in vegetables and other healthy foods. I’m not knocking it because I’m actually a huge fan of raw foods. Getting a good mix of both is the way, and learning a bit about which vegetables are better when cooked or raw.
Cooked foods are definitely less work on the digestive system, so when the weather’s cold I like to keep my food on the warmer side (digestion can be slower in the colder months).
In the summer when digestive fire is alive it’s much easier for most people to consume raw foods.
Here’s a few examples of vegetable’s properties when raw or cooked.
Tomatoes contain Lycopene which in high doses is said to lower the risk of cancer and heart attacks. When cooked the Lycopene levels rise by 35%.
Asparagus, when steamed, ignites its cancer fighting properties.
Mushrooms, when cooked contain more potassium
Spinach when cooked – you will absorb more iron, calcium and magnesium
Carrots have higher beta-carotene levels when cooked.
Beetroot has 25% more folate when eaten raw.
Broccoli, when eaten raw, contains more of the enzyme Myronaise which helps cleanse the liver of carcinogens.
Red capsicum, when roasted or fried contains a lot less Vit C.
So these just give you an idea of how it all works. Things aren’t as simple as all one way or the other.
What no one in the health industry is in debate about is that eating lots and lots of veggies will help keep the body healthy. Mix it all up a bit and eat lots of it and you’ll be bound to get most of the nutrients you need.
Check out our article on liver health and fertility