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The Details Make a Difference: Raw vs Cooked Who Made the List?

By: Lola Frailey Wednesday October 9, 2019 comments Tags: healthy eating, healthy living, raw food, raw food noni

Although cooking food can improve its taste, did you know that heat changes the nutritional value of your food?

Some vitamins are lost when food is cooked, while others become more readily available for your body to utilize. Some claim that eating primarily raw foods is the path to better health. Click here for more on raw foods. However, certain cooked foods have more nutritional benefits than when consumed raw.

Foods That May Be More Nutritious When Cooked

Spinach contains oxalic acid. Oxalic acid can inhibit the body’s absorption of calcium and iron. But steaming spinach decreases oxalic acid content by 53%. And steamed spinach also better retains its folate content. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps the body produce DNA.

A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology stated that cooking asparagus increased its phenols, quercetin, rutin, and lutein content up to 25%.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that cooking actually boosted the amount of lycopene (antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory) in tomatoes. 

Did you know? Lycopene is a fat-soluble antioxidant, meaning it’s better absorbed by the body when consumed with some healthy form of fat. 

A 2006 study published in the journal Food Chemistry stated that cooking significantly increased the overall antioxidant values of Shiitake mushrooms. 

Did you know? Certain types of raw mushrooms contain agaritine, a potentially carcinogenic substance. Not to worry though, Joel Fuhrman MD, says cooking mushrooms (even a few minutes) eliminates the majority of the mild toxins mushrooms may contain.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science found cooking and pureeing carrots (with the skins on) can multiply antioxidant properties threefold! 

Which Cooking Methods Should You Avoid?

Frying foods create free radicals and carcinogens, which do major damage to your cells and often contain trans fats which are linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

A  2009 study discovered that up to 14% of antioxidants were lost on average when boiled. Steaming foods in a steamer basket is a healthier option.

Get the most from your cooked foods

Store fruits like tomatoes at room temperature rather than in the fridge. This optimises the ripening process and increases levels of lycopene. Buy local organic produce. Doing so will ensure produce is picked at peak ripeness and attached to the plant longer to absorb vital nutrients. To learn more about knowing your farmer click here

Foods That Are Healthier Raw

Bell Peppers
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science stated bell peppers lose up to 75% of their antioxidants when cooked.

A  2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry stated raw broccoli contains three times the amount of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane than steamed broccoli.

A 2001 study published in The Journal of Nutrition stated that cooking garlic can destroy sulfur, a compound known for fighting cancer.

Noni Fruit
Traditional use in Polynesia and Hawaii was to eat the raw pulp of noni, not cooked for maximum benefit. But the biggest problem with noni is fermentation- the raw fruit has no shelf life and begins to ferment within 4 to 6 hours of ripening. Dr. Brian Issell, researcher at the University of Hawaii, stated that “if fermentation is allowed to occur all the beneficial enzymes are destroyed and most of the other 165 beneficial compounds are changed.” Therefore at Hawaiian Organic Noni, on our 70 acre certified organic family noni farm, we grow, pick and process only unfermented noni. We also developed a unique low heat dehydration process (below 115 F) to maintain the maximum potency found in the raw noni pulp. Our Noni Fruit Leather is 100% raw noni pulp with a 2 year shelf. 

How can the world benefit from noni fruit’s incredible antioxidant properties?

Click here for the answer!



Lola Frailey

About the Author: Lola Frailey