Most food we eat are in cooked form and this is because foods are more palatable and appealing after they are cooked. This is not totally untrue. Cooking not only turns food into a palatable form, it also makes more nutrients available for the body to use but, cooking some foods can do the opposite of this. The body is unable to absorb some foods after they are cooked and such foods are better eaten in raw form.
Heating food most times destroys nutrients and natural enzymes to some extent. This is bad because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic diseases. Some people believe that cooking food makes them toxic, but this is not a proven fact.
There is a claim that eating foods raw can clear up headaches and allergies. Raw foods can also boost immunity and memory and improve diabetes and arthritis. Various medical studies have shown that certain foods are better to eat in raw form, such foods include;
There is a compound in onions called Allicin. This compound helps to improve health by curbing hunger, reducing high blood pressure, preventing cancer and promoting cardiovascular health. You get more of these health benefits by eating onions raw. Red and yellow onions contain a natural dose of quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help fight viruses and common cold. Ensure to eat onions raw so you can get all the beneficial compounds.
Red beet root is a vegetable that has beneficial nutritional properties. Beets are high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and fiber. This nutrients offer a range of health benefits that are necessary to boost immune system, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, fight inflammation and improve your stamina. Cooking beets causes them to lose 25% of their folate. This loss of folate can be dangerous because folate is a healthy brain compound that reduces the risk of birth defect during fetal development. To retain the folate, try eating beets raw. It may take some time to get used to eating beets raw so, try incorporating raw beets into mixed salad to make them easier to eat.
Red bell pepper contains nearly three times your daily vitamin C need. Red bell pepper is also a powerful antioxidant and a great source of vitamin E, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Roasting, frying or grilling red bell peppers will cause their vitamin properties to break down. Try to eat them raw to get their full nutritional benefits.
Raw berries are better than dried berries because the drying process increases the sugar content of the dried berries. The sugar increases to about two or three times the original quantity and this cause the calories and carbohydrates in the dried berries to increase. Also, dried berries lack certain water-soluble vitamins and minerals and this makes them less healthy. Try eating berries fresh or in frozen form. You can incorporate them into your breakfast or add them into your yoghurt.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats which can help you balance your diet. These healthy fats also help lower your bad cholesterol, promote good artery health and help reduce your risk of developing blood clots. Raw nuts are higher in magnesium and iron and they do not contain genetically modified oils. So, when it comes to choosing nuts try to go for nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans that haven’t been roasted in oil and do not have added salt.
Drinking raw coconut water can replenish body fluids more than regular water will. Coconut oil derived from the coconut meat contains healthy fats that can strengthen both the heart and brain. Try to avoid all coconut flavoured processed foods like bars, candies and pastries because heating coconut reduces all the nutritional benefits it confers.
Like onions, garlic also contains the phytonutrient, allicin. Consuming garlic raw will give your body higher amounts of allicin. A study showed that consuming raw garlic reduces the risk of developing lung cancer. Eating raw garlic will give you the exact health benefits that raw onions will give to your body.
Find out some recipes on how to incorporate these foods into your diet in their raw forms and remember that choosing any of these foods in both raw and cooked form will always improve your health better than processed foods.