Live Total Wellness

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Is Raw Better?

When considering the options about food and how to prepare it, is raw best?  Cooking can either enhance or deplete the health benefits of foods.  Spinach, for example, when cooked down, becomes more concentrated in nutrients and fiber.  You actually get more nutrition eating a serving of cooked spinach versus raw spinach.  Many times, enzymes are destroyed by heat and cooking. Enzymes are necessary for digestion.  Heating can also deplete vitamins, damage proteins and fats.  Cooking can sometimes also contribute to free radicals which cause diseases such as cancer.  

What foods are more nutritious raw?

Almonds and many other nuts have healthy fats that are essential for the body.  However, when nuts are roasted at a temperature higher than 170 degrees, the benefits of raw nuts are negated and actually become unhealthy.  The disease fighting effects will actually break down into free radicals.  

You've been told to eat your greens and this green is actually better eaten raw.  Not only do you enjoy the best form of Vitamin K but the actual chewing process will release an enzyme.  This particular enzyme, myrosinase, helps your liver detoxify carcinogens.  Cooked broccoli will actually deactivate this enzyme.  

Garlic has been know for its medicinal properties for centuries.  The Chinese have known about the benefits of garlic as an immune system booster, powerful antibiotic, reduces cholesterol  and so many other health related benefits.   Although there are garlic tablets and capsules, the best way to attain all the benefits of garlic is to eat it raw.  The Chinese have also used it in teas, as well as mashed in foods.  Heating the garlic will negate the benefits of garlic.  

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