Health & Fitness

7 Foods You May Not Know That Are Healthier Eaten Raw

You probably already know that fresh fruit is a much healthier choice than a sugar-filled choice of say, a slice of chocolate cake or a piece of kuih.

That much is common sense, and for some people, making healthy choices like not choosing high sugar choices is enough to keep them on track with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

However, some of us need reminders every once in a while and even, getting to know the best ways to prepare certain foods is key to maximizing their nutritional benefits. For some foods, it’s fine to cook them – be it boiling, baking, grilling, steaming, broiling, roasting, frying, etc, but there are some foods that are best taken raw.

Did you know that cooking some foods does the opposite? Meaning that cooking these foods make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients compared to eating them in its raw state? Yes, true. Some vegetables might be tastier after they’ve been cooked, especially if they’ve had seasoning on it, but you could very well be sacrificing nutrition for taste without even realising it.

The list of foods below state which foods are better eaten raw and why.

Here are the Best 7 Foods Best Eaten Raw:

1. Beetroot

The red beetroot is a vegetable that actually has a higher sugar content compared to other vegetables, but its nutritional properties completely make up for it. Beetroots are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and the B vitamin folate, all of which benefit you a great deal. It can boost your immune system, fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and even prevent cancer.

When you cook beetroot, they can lose as much as 25 percent of their folate. It may take some getting used to when eating beetroot in its natural state but try having them grated in salads or in juices or smoothies. Combining them with other fruits and vegetables will make it easier to eat beetroot raw, and it will also taste better this way.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that should always be in your grocery list each time you go shopping. This vegetable is not only packed with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, but it’s also one of the vegetables with the most protein. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane which helps to fight cancer cells, lowers high blood pressure and has antioxidants that help with anti-aging and immunity.

Yes, broccoli is great eaten cooked but according to a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it’s best eaten raw because you’ll be able to absorb sulforaphane more quickly compared to eating it cooked.

3. Onions

Onions eaten raw is best for you because this little bulb is packed full of nutrients that can help curb hunger, prevent cancer, promote cardiovascular health, and reduce high blood pressure.

Don’t just eat one kind of onion. Combine them, meaning include both red and yellow onions for your helping of quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid that has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties to help you fight off all sorts of viruses, including the flu and colds.

4. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers should be right there with those citrus fruits when it comes to its Vitamin C content because this vegetable is full of it! In fact, according to abcnews.go.com, red bell peppers have nearly three times the vitamin C intake you need for the day. It also is full of powerful antioxidants and is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, and magnesium.

You may be able to get away with cooking your red bell peppers for a short time over low heat which will still maintain their sweetness. However, take note that if you cook them for longer, especially if you cook them over 190 degrees Celcius, it will cause their vitamin C properties to break down. Hence why it’s best eaten raw to get the full nutritional benefits of the red bell pepper.

5. Berries

Berries is another that is best eaten raw. If you eat them dried, you can unknowingly consume more sugar in the berries as very often, people put sugar to dry them out.  Dried fruit is also not so healthy because dehydrating them causes them to lose water-soluble vitamins and minerals. This is why it is best to eat berries raw.

Raw berries are low in calories and are super high in nutritional value. They are also great for brain health, keeping your brain sharp and help slow down cognitive decline.

6. Coconut

The coconut is one fruit that has multiple uses. Even the tree and leaves are all usable! Drinking raw coconut water can replenish fluids, especially if you’ve had a bout of food poisoning as coconut water is full of nutrients and minerals to help you replace the lost fluids. Even coconut oil that comes from the coconut meat contains healthy fats that strengthen both the brain and heart.

Skip the coconut-flavored processed stuff because anything processed is really not good for you.  Eat it in its raw form to get the full nutritional benefits.

7. Garlic

Garlic is one of those types of foods that’s almost always consumed cooked, especially in our Asian cooking where we use garlic in practically everything. Garlic, like onions, contains the phytonutrient allicin, which can be consumed in higher amounts by eating raw.

A study revealed that eating cooked garlic reduces its anti-inflammatory effects. So, garlic is best eaten raw to get its full benefits. It is also recommended to consume raw garlic two or more times a week to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. So, amp up the raw garlic in your meals. It’ll do you a wonder of good!

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