Everybody knows that eating fruit and vegetables is a vital part of healthy living. But did you know that by cooking your vegetables, a high proportion of the essential nutrients and minerals they contain are destroyed? Introducing more raw fruit and vegetables into your daily diet is an excellent way to help boost the immune system, look after your skin, and lose excess weight.
Experts have claimed that raw foods contain as much as a third more vitamins and minerals than cooked foods, as during cooking boiling water absorbs much of the vitamin B and C within our foods. Additionally, the heat breaks down fiber which is then lost in the cooking process, making raw foods a much greater source of fiber, which aids healthy digestion and lowers cholesterol.
Raw foods are typically lower in calories and saturated fats, and due to their high fiber and water content, raw foods also keep us feeling fuller for longer. This means reduced cravings and less snacking – an ideal trick to help tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity.
And it doesn’t stop there – as well as essential vitamins and fiber, raw foods also contain higher levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help protect us from life-threatening diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can prevent, and even reverse, cell damage caused by free radicals, which could otherwise lead to disease.
Furthermore, raw foods can also benefit our skin. When eaten raw, carrots and tomatoes contain greater levels of beta-carotene which stimulates skin cell growth, protects the skin from harmful UV rays, and helps build collagen which is needed for skin elasticity. It also slows down the aging process and lowers the risk of diseases associated with old age. Beta-carotene is not easily absorbed by the body from cooked foods.
And finally, increasing the amount of raw food in your diet is a great way to help ensure you get your daily quota of five portions of fruit and vegetables, and eat a larger variety of healthy foods.
It is important to note, however, that a diet made up of only raw food is not advisable as it would lack the proteins and carbohydrates we gain from meats and grains. However, simply incorporating more raw foods into a balanced diet is an excellent way to boost your health and wellbeing.
Need some inspiration on how to make raw foods more exciting? Try one of these delicious recipes from around the world.