We want to take care of our body to prevent diseases. To take our health to the next level, we need to know the proper ways on how to prepare foods to maximize their health benefits.
There are certain foods wherein their vitamins and minerals are difficult to be absorbed by our body when they are heated or cooked. This only means that these foods are best eaten raw. Check them out!
Coconut water in large amounts can help replenish fluids better than regular water. Also, the oil extracted from coconut meat contains healthy fats that are beneficial for the heart and brain.
Avoid eating those coconut-flavored candies, bars, and pastries. They are only packed with sugar and has too little nutritional value.
Red beets are loaded with nutritional properties. They are packed with vitamin C, B vitamin folate, manganese, potassium, and fiber. All of these contributes to its wide range of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation, boosting the immunes system, improving stamina, and lowering the risk of cancer.
When cooked, beet can lose 25% of their folate content (a healthy brain compound that helps reduce the risk of birth defects during fetal development) and other vitamins and minerals.
For those who are getting a hard time on munching raw beets, try to have a mixed salad with raw beets, apples, carrots, and ginger-lime dressing.
Present in broccoli is high amounts of the phytochemical sulforaphane which was found to be capable of providing antioxidants and preventing inflammation, depression, heart diseases, cancer, and other chronic conditions. In a study conducted in 2008, results showed that the sulforaphane in broccoli can easily be absorbed by our bodies if we eat the veggies raw. Cooking broccoli (boiling, frying, microwaving) decreases its vitamin C content. But steaming it has the least effect on its nutrients.
Onions contain a phytonutrient called allicin. This important component helps reduce high blood pressure, promote cardiovascular health, curb hunger, and prevent cancer. We can enjoy these benefits is we consume onions at its raw state.
Aside from this, onions (including both red and yellow ones) have a natural dose of quercetin which has anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Once onions are cooked, it reduces its ability to fight against cancers and also those heart-healthy properties.
For decades, garlic has been used both in raw form and cooked form. It makes our meal go from good to excellent when it comes to flavor.
Yes, we can definitely cook the garlic. However, heating it up reduces its nutritional value.
Nancy Woodbury, a registered dietitian nutritionist, explains that:
“Studies show that heat inactivates the alliinase enzyme. Boiling garlic for 20 minutes completely suppressed antibacterial activity, and only one minute of microwave heat destroyed 100 percent of its cancer-fighting ability. Crushing garlic and allowing it to sit 10 minutes before heating it partially restored its anticarcinogenic power, but the cooked garlic was still 30 percent less potent than raw garlic.”
Kale is a nutritious superfood rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. It also has compounds called glucosinolates, and when they come into contact with the enzyme myrosinase, they turn into a different, disease-fighting compound. However, heating kale inactivates myrosinase and eliminates its numerous benefits to our body. Use it to make a salad instead of adding it to cooked dishes.
Nuts offer tons of magnesium and iron both of which are excellent for your body. We can easily add them to a variety of heated dishes and desserts. But nuts are not meant to be cooked. Once they are heated up, their iron and magnesium decrease while their calories and fat content increase – we are avoiding this if we are getting healthy. Simple eat nuts on their own or make them a last-minute topping on desserts.
Berries are one of those colorful foods with tons of health benefits. They contain huge amounts of antioxidants that fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
However, once berries are heated-up, their piles of health benefits are significantly reduced. It would be better if we simply eat them raw.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers offer significant amounts of vitamin C. Unfortunately, this goodness is destroyed when peppers are heated. The best way to enjoy them is with a little hummus as midday, raw snack.
Pineapples contain bromelain which is associated with many health benefits such as decreasing inflammation and colonic neoplasia, abnormal growth of tissue around the colon. According to studies, heating pineapples could deprive us its important health benefits.
Eat fresh seaweeds instead of the dried ones. Fresh seaweeds have incredible nutrients to offer. It is packed with chlorophyll which helps cleanse our liver, helps in losing weight, improves digestion and lowers our risks of getting cancer.