As you read and ponder on how to choose your raw or cooked foods you must bear in mind that some foods can not be eaten raw, while some can make your day when half-cooked.
Vegetables are always more nutritious when eaten raw, In reality, while cooking can cause the loss of some vitamins and minerals, it can also make it easier for your body to absorb them. But we will not only look at veggies only, but we will also look at other varieties of foods as we proceed.
Let’s Look At Which Veggies Are Best Eaten Raw?
Cooking can reduce the nutritional content of veg. It can be a particular problem with vitamin C and the B vitamins and minerals like potassium because they are water-soluble and so leach out into cooking water.
That’s fine in soups and stews because you consume the water, but it’s a problem if you throw the water away. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, courgettes, spinach and peas have a good amount of these vitamins.
Heat also degrades these vitamins, so cook veg that is rich in them gently and in as little water as possible. Steaming, microwaving and stir-frying are better options than boiling.
The good news is that many foods we usually eat raw are rich in vitamin C and the B vitamins (such as watercress, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and lettuce), so a balanced diet will provide you with plenty of them.
Which Veggies Are Best When Cooked?
Some veggies are more nutritious when cooked because cooking breaks down their cells, which can allow you to absorb more of the nutrients even if some have leached out during cooking.
This is true of beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A, found in carrots, butternut squash and sweet potatoes) and other carotenoids, such as lycopene, which is found in tomatoes.
Starches and proteins are easier to digest when cooked. If you’re considering a raw food diet, keep in mind that some starchy foods such as potatoes can’t be eaten raw, so including cooked foods increases the variety of your diet.
Cooking also improves the flavour of many veggies, and if this makes you more likely to eat them it’s worth losing some nutrients!.
Are there advantages and disadvantages? Yes, and here they are…
Let’s begin by pointing out some facts about cooked foods, it’s important to note that either raw or cooked foods eating healthy foods are the key to staying healthier.
Advantages Of Cooked Foods:
Eating cooked food allows our bodies to digest and absorb more nutrients than eating raw food. Indeed, there are certain nutrients in some raw fruits and vegetables that are almost impossible to digest or absorb unless they are cooked.
Lycopene, for example, is a phytonutrient that gives protection from some forms of cancer. It is much better absorbed by the body from cooked or processed tomatoes than from raw ones.
Another phytonutrient that is more readily available for absorption when cooked is lutein found in corn. Similarly, carotenoids found in red, yellow, orange and many dark-green leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, and they are much more easily absorbed when cooked.
The three basic food groups—carbohydrates, protein and fats—are a lot easier to digest and absorb cooked than raw. Imagine eating rice in its uncooked state, or steak and eggs, for that matter. Meals would not be a pleasant experience.
Cooking food dramatically improves its taste and aroma, too. The Mail-lard reaction, which is a chemical process that uses heat to turn food brown without the use of enzymes, makes food smell and taste better.
Also, eating food raw takes a significant amount of energy for chewing and digesting. Just compare the effort required to eat a raw carrot versus a cooked one—eating uncooked foods is not an efficient delivery system for the fuel an active body needs.
Note: This does not generally imply that raw foods are bad but it’s not all food that can be eaten raw.
Disadvantages of a raw food diet:
- It’s restrictive and can make eating out difficult.
- As the variety of foods eaten is limited, it can lack nutrients and energy.
- It is particularly difficult to get enough protein, vitamin B12 and iron on a strict raw food diet.
- It can be hard to know how to get the best from your ingredients. Some raw foods provide enough nutrients when eaten whole while chopping and puréeing others mean they can release more nutrients.
Advantages of a raw food diet:
- It’s beneficial to eat some raw foods, such as fresh fruit and salads, because they contain higher levels of some vitamins.
- Raw food can be quick and simple to prepare.
Should we go on to talk about fruits knowing that we can’t cook our fruits before we eat them, of course, I believe you already know that? What’s more for you to know concerning how to eat your foods is that you should always endeavour to wash your fruits with clean water (not with detergents) before eating them.
How To Choose Your Raw Or Cooked foods:
Eating By The Colour.
Colourful fruits and vegetables lift your mood with their look alone, and a happy person is a healthy person. The fact that the bright colours are signs of high nutrient content is merely an added bonus. Include as many of these “positive” foods into your daily meal plan as much as you can.
Know The Good And Bad Raw Or Cooked Foods:
Know the difference between foods with good and bad carbs when making choices of your raw or cooked foods.
Bear in mind that you need carbohydrates to function properly, and you can get plenty of them from many foods. However, some of these carbs are detrimental to your health, namely the ones that come from white flour, white rice, and refined sugar.
Exclude them from your diet and replace them with good carbs, such as the ones you can get from whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits.
Be In Control Of What You Eat:
There is a much bigger chance of you switching to a well-balanced diet if you are the one to cook, and therefore control, your own meals.
This way, you will monitor what you eat and keep track of nutrients and calories with ease. Cooking at home is also a much more budget-friendly option. There are plenty of quick healthy food recipes, so you will be able to diversify your meals and truly enjoy them raw or cooked.
Keep Away From Processed Meat:
Highly processed meats contain nitrites and nitrates which are controversial as the research hasn’t come to a clear conclusion. To be safe, buy meat that is unprocessed and fresh.
If you do want processed meats such as bacon or salami, go for the brand which has the fewest ingredients. Buy the products which have the highest meat content if you want to eat ready-made cooked foods.
Include Fish In Your Choices Of Foods:
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish. Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease.
Oily fish include:
Non-oily fish include:
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
Most people should be eating more fish, but you should know that there are recommended limits for some types of fish, you can find more about fish here.
Summary: In addition to fruits and vegetables, there are other important guidelines for healthy eating that everyone should follow to stay healthy and to prevent or control chronic diseases.
- Reduce sodium (salt) intake.
- Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Select lean meats.
- Eat a variety of whole-grain products daily.
- Reduce your sugar intake.
- Drink little or no sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit punches, or sports drinks.
- Eat moderate portions of food.
- Drink plenty of water.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this article, don’t hesitate to share with friends, also keep in that you are in a position of better health and happier life when you know how to choose your raw or cooked foods.