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Is Raw Food Better Than Cooked Food?

By Lana Bandoim

Celebrities made the raw food diet popular. However, there are still questions about its safety and health benefits. The diet focuses on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Before following this trend, consider the details.

Easier and Faster to Prepare

There is no need to spend hours cooking, baking, sautéing or broiling meals before they are served. The raw food diet cuts down on preparation time in the kitchen. It also makes it easier to pack a lunch because only fresh and raw products will go inside the bag.

Saving Enzymes and Nutrients

Cooking can destroy some of the enzymes and nutrients in food. Most enzymes are sensitive to heat, so heating up food can kill them. In addition, some water-soluble vitamins can leach out of the food while it is cooking. This means the finished meal can be missing both enzymes and nutrients.

Digestion Problems

One of the negative aspects of the raw food diet is that it can be harder to digest. Cooking food makes it easier to handle for the digestive system. It also makes it easier to chew. Fruit and vegetables have fiber that can be hard for the body to digest. Cooking breaks it down and helps the body absorb more nutrients.

Changing the Taste and Smell

Cooking can also improve the taste and smell of some food products. Broccoli is often easier to eat after it is steamed. Cauliflower can smell better after being covered in herbs and spices. Sautéing and frying can increase the flavor of many meals. The eating experience often improves after cooking.

Killing Bacteria

Washing produce can remove some toxins, but it may not get rid of all bacteria. Cooking at a high temperature can kill most bacteria. Raw sprouts and spinach are frequently recalled because of contamination with microorganisms. By eating raw food, you may increase the risk of getting sick.

Although most raw food diets are vegan or vegetarian, some people follow their own version. They may eat raw meat, eggs and dairy. This can be dangerous, and health experts do not recommend it.

There are positive and negative sides to the raw food diet. Make sure you consider all of the factors before switching to this diet. It may best to find a balance between raw and cooked food in the kitchen. Some items such as fruit and vegetables are better raw while meat and eggs are definitely better - and safer -- cooked.  

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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