Raw or Cooked: Finding a Better Way to Eat Vegetables
raw foods present dramatically overstated 'enzymes'. Our body's have been so
designed that they produce their own enzymes, and doesn't need it from external
sources. The fact to be noted is that most enzymes that we do eat are digested
proteins rather than put to work biochemically. It is estimated that cooking
the veges will heat the nutrients right out of them, well, that depends largely
on the food and the cooking method adopted. In some instances, cooking actually
enhances the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. In case of vegetables like
tomatoes, for example, it would be better to stir fry or roast them in the oven.
This is because the lycopene present in tomatoes that prevents
diabetes, prostate cancer and
osteoporosis is more easily absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked
thoroughly or processed.
Cooking kills the bacteria and other parasites living on the
surfaces of some
vegetables. and more so there are many foods that can't be eaten at all in
their raw state like, beans, potatoes, wheat. You can
the wheat, but in doing so you're changing proteins and destroying enzymes,
which cooking also does.
It is actually the way we prepare and cook our vegetables that will
determine how much nutrient loss there is. Chopping, or slicing (breaks down the
cell walls), and allowing vegetables to sit for 5-10 minutes maximizes their
Steaming foods for the right amount of time results in negligible nutrient
loss. Frying is the worst way to cook vegetables, other methods like boiling,
grilling, broiling and sautéing are not good either, because these can strip off
the nutrients such as
vitamins, minerals and
antioxidants from the vegetables. Steaming vegetables can do a much better
job in boosting
immune functions, regulating natural systems of the body, facilitating
detoxification and improving digestion than fried, grilled or boiled vegetables.
It is ideal for spinach, broccoli, corn, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, beans,
bok choy, Chinese cabbage and other green leafy vegetables.
Also, how well we chew our food plays a role in nutrient absorption. Most
people do not chew their food adequately, and because digestion begins in the
mouth we are not able to absorb as much. Cooking vegetables helps aid digestion,
making what we eat more easily absorbed. At the same time, excessive cooking
leads to a loss of nutrients.
Avoid cooking methods, like
- Boiling or cooking in water
Instead, use cooking methods that add flavor without sacrificing
nutritional value, such as:
Tips for Long Lasting Benefits:
In the case of some vegetables, like onions & garlic heat triggers
chemical reactions that increase variety of sulfur containing substances to
Certain fruits and vegetables should be eaten with a small amount of
fat, preferably a
heart-healthy fat, to get the most nutrients. e.g., dipping carrots into
a little hummus or adding a little olive oil to your grilled tomatoes, for
example, will help with the absorption.
vegetables are cooked just right. They are neither overcooked nor undercooked.
This makes them so flavorful that you’ll want to munch on these vegetables more
and more. This is great since vegetables are good sources of nutrients. The more
you eat, the better. Although raw vegetables are more nutritious, many people do
not think they taste good (except for those used in salad).
Only cook vegetables just long enough that they start to soften, but
still retain their crunch.
Cooking a starchy vegetable increases digestibility markedly, on the
order of 2-12 times, depending on the preparation method. For vegetarians,
this is particularly important.
Some nutrients become more available and some are decreased or destroyed
by heat. Vitamin C, for example, is highly unstable, easily leaching into
cooking water or being broken down by heat, light, and air. Other water
soluble vitamins, while easily leaching into water, are relatively stable
Puréed vegetables can be used in many different ways. In addition to
sauces, dips, cracker spreads and sandwich fillings, they can be used as
toppings for pasta or pizza as well as entrées and vegetable side dishes.
Vegetable purées also work as the base for an “instant” soup when heated
with broth or milk.
Include fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi. These foods
harness the power of nature to begin the digestive process.
The bottom line is to consume a variety of vegetables as they are in season,
prepared in a variety of ways. From
soups, cold to hot side dishes, all promote your health in various ways. Eat
your vegetables…cooked, raw, fermented.
Dated 30 January 2012