Ever wondered that why is it that we eat some foods raw and some that we cook before eating. The health myth around it is that cooking the food kills bacteria and it is not safe to eat it raw. Firstly not all foods can be eaten raw for eg. meats. Meats can’t be eaten raw as it might contain the bacteria borne by the animal itself and need to be boiled and cooked to free it of the bacteria. Secondly its completely healthy to eat raw or slightly cooked vegetables as not only that they are healthiest in their natural form but each of these vegetables have distinct flavors that can only be tasted when eaten raw. Overcooking the vegetables kills the enzymes present in it making it not so nutritious and good for the health and digestion.
Here are a few tips on why to eat this and not that
Taste: Taste of raw food is most natural than that of the food which is cooked. Their core idea is that enzymes are still active in raw food whereas they’re denatured, hence inactive, in cooked food. Taste of cooked food can be made according to your choice and taste buds but not necessarily it is healthy and nutritious due to addition of oil and spices in it. Raw food give a more natural taste. Imagine eating cool cucumber, creamy avocado or a ripe tomato!
Digestion: Raw foods are rich in enzymes. Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. Raw fruits and vegetables are rich source in enzymes and breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats. While cooked food has lower levels of enzymes and in overcooked food it is completely lost which can cause bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, heartburn and food allergies.
Category: Food can be divided into nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, cereals, fruits, vegetable and meat products. Nuts, seeds, fruits, dairy products & vegetables can be eaten naturally and whereas as cereals, meats and pulses need to be slightly cooked to make it easier for digestion and process it. Cooked, processed and packaged food contains excess salt which is not natural for the arteries and blood pressure along with long term health benefits like water retention.
Temperature: Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are made up of living organism which gives a life span to the food. Food can not bear too much temperature and start to break down when overcooked. Cooking to a certain extent to soften it and kill the bacteria. Cooking at the right temperature gives you the option of mixing more than one ingredients in one dish so that you can enjoy your meal fast. Also, when not consuming store vegetables and fruits and other food in the refrigerator so that its life doesn’t detoriate and keeps the bacteria away from developing.
Weight Loss: If you look at weight loss and nutrition then raw food is better than cooked food as it will be easily digestible in your stomach and will provide you with all the essential enzymes required to break fats, carbs and protein into energy.
Try eating as natural as you can from the food that you like. Cooking food is also a concern for students, working people and single persons and they usually complain of not eating healthy food due to not having time or resources to cook healthy food. This should simplify life for you. Its time you made some healthy choices.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo