Healthy Eating – Is Food Healthier When It’s Raw?
One question many people wonder about as they go through their diet plan is whether they should be eating raw food as often as possible. While you may not take it so far as to adopt the raw food diet approach which can be very restrictive in a sense and hard for many to stick with; you may question whether not cooking particular foods is a wiser move.
What’s the verdict?
The Benefits Of Raw Foods. First, let us consider the benefits of eating raw foods. The main advantage is they have not been altered in any way. More and more people realize the value of eating foods in their natural state and eating raw food takes this one step further. Even naturally occurring foods like carrots and broccoli are altered somewhat when cooked. And, this changes their nutritional profile.
Some foods tend to leach nutrients when they are heated, especially when they are boiled. Usually, this is the case with vegetables, so choosing to eat vegetables raw is often recommended. Otherwise, it is good to eat other healthy natural foods such as…
- fresh fruits,
- seeds, and
often, as these are nutrient-dense foods.
A Note On Cooking. This said, do keep in mind some foods benefit from cooking. For instance, take sweet potatoes. You cannot eat these raw, so you have to cook them to reap their nutritional benefits. The same goes for lean protein foods. You are not going to be eating raw chicken anytime soon – or at least you definitely shouldn’t!
Having cooked foods in your diet can help you take in more nutrients when the food cannot be eaten raw. And even still, some foods are better when cooked, and oil is added: this includes foods containing fat-soluble vitamins. Kale, for instance, may be slightly more nutritious when you lightly cook it and add a small amount of olive oil. The oil will help with absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E, and K. If you eat kale raw, you will not get as concentrated a dose.
Your Approach. So yours should be a balanced approach – eat some foods raw and some foods cooked. Use variety in your diet. More often than not, this is the better way to approach your eating plan.
Many people do find eating foods raw does tend to help reduce digestive stress as well so, on those days where you are feeling bloated and gassy, that may be even more reason to opt for including raw foods more often.
Keep these points in mind and consider including some raw foods in your diet this week. You may have a lot to gain by doing so.