Foods That Are More Nutritious Raw
Cooking some foods unlocks their nutrients, but eating certain raw foods can often be more nutritious.
- Raw nuts have healthy fats that are essential to the body. Raw nuts can help lower the LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or "bad," cholesterol level in the blood. When nuts are roasted at a temperature higher than 170 degrees, those disease-fighting fats get broken down into free radicals that do just the opposite: contribute to plaque and cardiovascular disease. Raw nuts are also among the best sources of Vitamin E.
- Chewing raw garlic produces a DNA-protecting compound called allicin. One minute of cooking, though, completely inactivates this enzyme, and when you eat it cooked, you absorb little or none of the protective allicin compound.
- Raw Juice Retains Vitamins. When you buy juice, it is always pasteurized. Pasteurization not only kills bacteria and preserves the juice, it also destroys many (if not most) of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes, along with their health-promoting properties. Sometimes the process adds chemicals, sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Fortunately, juice is easy to make at home, so try fresh, raw, homemade juice for a burst of nutrition.
- Beets lose more than 25 percent of their folate when cooked. Eating them raw will preserve this brain compound.
- Eat broccoli raw. Heating deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme in broccoli that helps cleanse the liver of carcinogens.
- Onions. Just slice and eat: You get less of the hunger-busting phytonutrient allicin when you cook onions.
- Red Peppers, their vitamin C breaks down when roasted, fried, or grilled.