When you start your journey toward healthier eating, you will learn pretty quickly that there are many misconceptions regarding the best ways to do it. In general, we are told to add more fruit and vegetables to our diets. But as we head into a new year, new understandings about nourishment and the latest scientific research point to the importance of how we prepare food and the healthiest way to do it.
Why Do We Prepare Food and Is It Required?
Humans are the only living beings on Earth that cook food. Early humans have been making use of fire for food as far back as 1,000,000 years ago. Researchers believe this is the reason our brains developed to be so powerful. Cooked food has contributed to the critical thinking skills necessary for our lives today.
How did cooking boost our brain development?
- Cooking eliminates several dangerous microorganisms found on raw foods and increases the calorie content in foods through two methods:
- Denaturing proteins to enable less complicated digestion in the tummy.
- Stronger breakdowns of foods, enabling our digestive system to better uptake necessary nutrients.
- In some studies, researchers have even looked at whether cooking food improved everyday social life, such as domestic duties, establishing familial bonds, and improving social interaction in general.
Eventually, this enhanced food preparation strategy gave rise to more sanitized dishes and reduced bouts of gastrointestinal disorder. People had the capacity to consume more and become sick much less.
- Other facets of life have evolved along with our improved diets, like technology and medicine.
- Less individuals get food poisoning thanks to cooking, and our understanding of germs has altered how we grow and even wash our fruits and vegetables.
It's important here to note that although food preparation may help break down tougher foods like broccoli or carrots, high heat can also deplete nutrients. Certain veggies eaten raw provide better access to numerous vitamins, such as water-soluble Vitamin C and certain B Vitamins. They also act as beneficial prebiotics.
So, Which is Better?
It depends. Cooking foods like legumes and grains makes them easier to consume, but cooking them also breaks down "anti-nutrients" – compounds that stop you from having the ability to access valuable nutrients. On the one side, cooking boosts Vitamin A in foods like tomatoes and carrots, while on the other side, many veggies are best eaten raw.
And then there is the issue of each person's body. The best answers for the right nutrients depend on each of us as individuals. But there are some general rules you can follow.
- Reconsider Boiling
Boiling veggies can often cause water-soluble vitamins to seep into the water inside the pot, which lowers their nutritional benefits. The most effective means to optimize your consumption of these nutrients is to include the pot liquid with the veggies while eating, such as in soups or stews.
- Sauteing or Promptly Pan-Frying
The very best cooking technique to keep nutrients intact is to throw veggies in a pan and cook them on high for a minimal amount of time. This lowers the degree of nutrient degradation while softening the outside fibers for better digestion.
- Keep on Chewing
This is important for both cooked and raw veggies. Chewing is typically one of the most underutilized methods people use to improve food digestion. It could feel like a chore (particularly with crunchy, raw veggies like carrots). Still, the act of eating prompts your salivary glands to produce a number of enzymes - like amylase - to start digesting your food even before you swallow while minimizing their size for easier digestion. And chewing produces satiety signals that tell your body you need to eat less, making it a great weight loss device!
Your diet plan needs to combine both raw and cooked veggies. Limiting to one leads to a lack of nutrients. Here is a short list to aid you when preparing your next dish:
Foods that are Healthier Raw:
Foods that are Healthier Prepared:
Helpful tip: Before your next trip to the supermarket, don't fret about your preparation approaches just yet. Stay focused on increasing the veggies in your diet. There are lots of ways you can improve your minerals and vitamin intake with a well-balanced and colorful diet.
Eating Healthy & SupplementationSometimes eating healthy is not enough. There can be some nutritional gaps from your usual diet. To make sure you get enough right nutrients you need for your body is to take supplements. NutraV has the right supplements for you made with only clean ingredients to make sure you don’t get any negative side effects. Shop NutraV supplements here.