Raw Food Debate – Are Raw Fruits and Vegetables Really Good for You?

Despite the fact that cooked food has its health benefits, raw food devotees compellingly believe that cooking causes damage to the inherent nutrients found in food.

A number of studies done in recent years by many but in particular by Harvard Medical School established that a high-level consumption of lycopene (a red pigment primarily found in tomatoes and other food such as papaya, pink guava, red bell pepper and watermelon) lowers the potential of cancer and heart attacks, and could in fact be a more intense antioxidant than vitamin C.

An autonomous analysis reported by Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, reveals that lycopene is in fact increased when tomotoes are heated. One particular variety of lycopene in tomatoes, cis-lycopene, increased by 35% when cooked for 30 minutes at 190.4°F (88°C). This is due to the thick walls of the fruit being destroyed by the heating process, which facilitates the body to absorb the nutrients that are bound to the fruit's walls. One of the superior internal meat thermometer's to help you in correctly measuring the temperature of your food is the efectivCHEF Quick Read Digital Cooking Thermometer.

Steamed or boiled vegetables such as carrots, spinach, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and cabbage also discharge more antioxidants to the body than they do when consumed raw. Whilst both steaming and boiling of zucchini, carrots and broccoli preserves antioxidants better than frying, boiling is considered to be the superior method of cooking.

Nonetheless, the disadvantage of heating vegetables is that it can destroy some of their vitamin C, seeing as it is easily degraded due to heat, oxidation and cooking in water (in fact it dissolves in water). But, the trade-off may just be worth it as vitamin C can be found in many more fruits and vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, caultiflower, oranges and carrots) than lycopene.

That said, when a few plants, especifically cruciferous vegetables for example cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are cooked, an organic composite called Indole, is produced, which helps to destroy precancerous cells prior to them turning malignant.

So in conclusion, it's evident that it's no easy task when comparing the benefits of raw and cooked food. There are still many ambiguities about how various molecules in plants respond with the human body. Nonetheless, the conclusion is to eat your fruit and vegetables regardless as to how they are prepared.

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