Raw or cooked: Which provides more nutrients?

Raw or cooked: Which provides more nutrients?

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A:

Are raw vegetables and fruits more protective than cooked? Sometimes yes, but not in every instance. A diet of raw vegetables and fruits, plus sprouted seeds, nuts, and grains, is very rich in vitamins C, E, other antioxidants, and fiber. Scandinavian research has shown this diet to reduce certain toxic substances in the colon, including those substances related to cancer risk. People with rheumatoid arthritis also have reported decreased pain, swelling, and stiffness using this diet. Loading up on fresh raw produce, especially items at their seasonal peak, will always invigorate your cells, but cooking has advantages, too. Some people may find that cooked foods are easier to chew and digest. You many not have realized that cooking makes it easier to absorb some antioxidants. (Chewing well helps, too.) For example, you'll get 33 percent more beta-carotene from cooked, pureed carrots than from raw carrots because the heat breaks the plant cells open, making some protective substances more readily available. Cooking also increases absorption of lycopene from tomatoes. And, while you're making your next meal, remember this: Some cell-nourishing substances actually form during cooking. Whereas raw garlic contains dozens of protective compounds, even more are created when you mince the cloves and then simmer them in your pasta sauce. The same is true for dozens of other plant foods. When eaten with the peel (as with carrots or baked potatoes), the amount of antioxidants and fiber is considerably higher than when the peel is removed. (use organic produce to avoid pesticides in the peel.)

Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer, Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine.


 Answer by prokopton

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