Jan 282019

Have you heard the recommendation to eat certain foods (or all foods) raw?

Do you already eat a variety of healthy foods, and want to know how to get the most vitamins and minerals out of them?

You’re probably not surprised that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to maximizing the vitamins and minerals your body absorbs from foods.

Let me go over which types of foods are best eaten raw, and which ones are best eaten cooked to maximize their nutritional benefit.

Let’s finally put an end to the debate of raw vs. cooked.

Of course, in the grand scheme of a well-balanced, nutrient-dense, varied, whole foods diet, the cooked vs. raw debate isn’t that critical for most people.

Where this can become a consideration is for vitamin and mineral deficiencies (or “insufficiencies”). These may be due to digestion or absorption issues, or avoidance of certain foods (due to allergies, intolerances, or choice).

And I’ll tell you that the answer isn’t as simple as “raw is always better” or “cooked is always better.”  As with most nutrition science, it depends on several factors. Some vitamins are destroyed in cooking, while others become easier to absorb (a.k.a. more “bioavailable”).

Here is the skinny on vitamins and minerals in raw foods versus cooked foods.

Foods to eat raw 

As a general rule, water soluble nutrients, like vitamin C and the B vitamins, found mostly in fruits and vegetables, are best eaten raw.

The reason why is two-fold. 

First, when these nutrients are heated, they tend to degrade;  this is from any heat, be it steaming, boiling, roasting, or frying. Vitamin C and the B vitamins are a bit more “delicate” and susceptible to heat than many other nutrients.

Of course, the obvious way to combat these nutrient losses is to eat foods high vitamin C and B vitamins in their raw form (like in an awesome salad) or to cook them for as short a time as possible (like quickly steaming or blanching).

Fun fact: Raw spinach can contain three times the amount of vitamin C as cooked spinach.

The second reason why foods high in vitamin C and the B vitamins are best eaten raw is that they’re “water soluble.”  So, guess where the vitamins go when they’re cooked in water?  Yes, they’re dissolved right into the water;  this is particularly true for fruits and veggies that are boiled and poached but even for foods that steamed as well.

Of course, if you’re a savvy health nut, you’ll probably keep that liquid to use in your next soup or sauce to preserve those nutrients that are left after cooking. Just don’t overheat it or you may lose what you were aiming to keep.

But, how much loss are we talking about?  Well, of course, it ranges but can go from as low as 15%, up to over 50%.

In short, the water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and the B vitamins degrade with heat and some of what’s left over after they’re heated dissolves into the cooking water. So be sure to cook your fruits and veggies as little as possible, and keep that cooking water to use in your next recipe.

Soaking nuts and seeds

Regarding raw nuts and seeds, it may be beneficial to soak them. Soaking nuts and seeds (for several hours at room temperature) allows some of the minerals to become “unlocked” from their chemical structure, so they’re more absorbable.

Foods to eat cooked

Cooking certain orange and red “beta-carotene rich” veggies (e.g. tomatoes, carrots, & sweet potatoes) can help make this pre-vitamin A compound more absorbable. 

Fun fact: One study found that absorption of beta-carotene was 6.5 times greater in stir-fried carrots than in raw carrots!

Of course, eating your fat-soluble vitamins with a bit of fat will help you to absorb more of them, so that’s one factor to consider.

One vegetable that’s best eaten both raw and cooked

Spinach! 

And I’m not just saying this to get everyone to eat it any way possible (although, I would love for this to happen…unless you’re allergic, of course).

Spinach contains so many beneficial compounds that it’s great eaten both raw and cooked.

Eating raw spinach preserves the water-soluble vitamins C & the B vitamins.

Eating spinach cooked allows the pre-vitamin A, as well as some of the minerals like iron to be better absorbed. Not to mention how much spinach reduces in size when it’s cooked, so it’s easier to eat way more cooked spinach than raw spinach.

Conclusion:

The old nutrition philosophy of making sure you get a lot of nutrient-dense whole foods into your diet holds true. Feel free to mix up how you eat them, whether you prefer raw or cooked just make sure you eat them.

Recipe (cooked spinach): Sauteed Spinach

Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 bag baby spinach leaves

1 dash salt

1 dash black pepper

Fresh lemon

1. In a large cast iron pan heat olive oil.  

2. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.

3. Add spinach, salt, pepper and toss with garlic and oil.  

4. Cover pan and cook on low for about 2 minutes.  

5. Saute cook spinach for another minute, stirring frequently, until all the spinach is wilted.

6. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Enjoying the cooked spinach with the vitamin C in the “raw” lemon juice helps your body absorb more of the iron.

Yours in Health and Happiness,

# CertifiedHealthCoach #makingadifference #wholefoods #plantsheal

#takinghealthyback #healthymindandbody

Penny

Penny Welke

I would like to induced myself Penny Welke I am happily married for 30 years, we have 4 children, 9 grandchildren My husband owns is own lawn care and snow removal business. I am a retired hairstylist of 30 years. I have work in salon and spa salon. I worked as cosmetologist for 30 years and Massage Therapists 11 years. In 2015 I got induced to wonderful company a easy solution how to get more fruits and vegetables to everyday, helping myself and others how to shred bad habits teaching others how live a healthy lifestyle. I love doing both profession because they go hand and hand. It was long and hard decision to give up my salon business but my heart wasn't in anymore, my heart led in direction in following my passion in Health and nutrition In 2009 my Avenue changed, deciding to take a leap of faith and started my own business. I working chiropractic office until he closed the doors than I had find place to do my massage business. Finding a place across from Red Robin behind mcmanion chiropractor and physical therapy building been there for 3 years. Having a passion for health and nutrition. Impacting people lives with my hands and impacting people and with their health. Teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle by shredding bad habits by creating healthy habits. Seeing the benefits of getting regular massages on a regular basis. Helps with circulation Stress Headaches, Muscle tone Helps with preventing Helps improve posture, muscle tension The modalities I do is bamboo massage, deep tissue, trigger point, warm stone, myofasacia , relaxation, pregnancy massage. Using warm towels, essential oils. I customize my services and tailor each session to your individual needs. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, reduce pain, or are recovering from an injury – I am here to help you achieve your goals through therapeutic massage. I impact people lives with my hands and I impact people lives with their health. Giving them a solution to help them with their neck, shoulders and back issues. Giving them hope through massage and wellness. More and more physicians are recommending therapeutic massage for their patients as they see all the great benefits it has. I see on average of 5 or more referrals every week from the medical community. Ask your healthcare providers if they think massage would benefit you. Whether migraines, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia or whatever your ailments are more than likely the pain and suffering can be helped with regular massage. Because of Juice Plus my family is living a healthier lifestyle. I thought I was somewhat healthy but learned with JP+ and Shred10 program what healthy really is! My body was going through a-lot hormone changes ended up with dermatitis, allergies in early 40’s. Suffered with IBS most of my life, dealing with diarrhea and constipation and rectal pain. Taking prescription medications for all of them. Taking handful of vitamins on market and spending tons of money on them. I know I needed a change. 4 years ago, I am thankful for my friend shared a simple way to flood my body with fruits and vegetables. So I decided to get started right away I noticed more energy, I no longer take medicines for my lBS , allergies or my dermatitis. I sleep better, I can focus better,I am regular and no retal pain, skin and hair is healthier, cravings shifted and rarely ever sick, my immune system improved, inflammation has greatly improved. I feel younger in 50’s than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. A process I was Making in Health everyday to live a healthier lifestyle, with one simple change. I am grateful for a solution to impact our Health and others giving them hope, provide families with a simple solution to use everyday and help them to live healthier lifestyle. Because of Juice Plus I will inspire and leave a legacy that impacts generations to come.


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