Uncooked, these foods will retain their important antioxidant properties. However, cooking these foods will cause them to lose their health benefit. Last time we spoke about which foods will increase their health value when cooked, but today we will discuss which foods to leave uncooked.
Polyphenols are antioxidants. Found in plant-based foods, they are important in helping individuals with digestive issues, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. They are found in foods such as flax seeds, berries (preferably dark berries), and dark chocolate. Cooking these foods will cause a total loss of all antioxidants.
Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It is an important vitamin in the processes that help control blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Cooking can deactivate 30-50% of this vitamin. Foods that are high in Vitamin C are: peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and kale.
If you are looking to fight inflammation, gout, viral infections, and cardiovascular disease, then add quercetin to your diet. Research also shows it also has anti-cancer properties. Although it is healthy for you, quercetin is damaged at high temperatures. Foods high in quercetin are capers, onions, and garlic.
Lentils, asparagus, and avocados are good sources of Vitamin B9. Overcooking these foods will cause Vitamin B9 to become depleted. This vitamin is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the synthesis of DNA.
Plant derived nutrients are beneficial for your health. Hence, they can reduce your risk of cancer, asthma, heart disease, and stroke. Pomegranates, red vegetables, and green vegetables are all loaded with antioxidants called flavonoids. Uncooked, these nutrients are great for your health, but similarly to the nutrients mentioned above, heating flavonoids will damage them.
Curcumin is great for reducing inflammation. Although, 85% of its availability will be lost when boiled or cooked above 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Try eating curcumin raw in contrast to turmeric which does better in heat.
Lastly, piperine is a powerful antioxidant which loses nearly 60% of its availability when cooked. This antioxidant is found in fresh black pepper.
Cooking These Foods Will Destroy Their Health Benefits
- Polyphenols – flax, berries, dark chocolate
- Vitamin C – peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, kale
- Quercetin – capers, onions, garlic
- Vitamin B9 – lentils, asparagus, avocados
- Flavonoids – pomegranates, green and red vegetables
- Piperine – fresh black pepper
You probably eat most of these foods raw or uncooked already. If you decide to cook them, as a result they will lose their health potential. It is perfectly alright to cook these foods to enjoy a particular cuisine or signature dish. Just remember, due to the fact heat will damage the antioxidants, try to eat these foods in their uncooked form as well. Good luck, and enjoy!!
Dr Spencer Charlet
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