To Cook, or Not to Cook? That is the Question
So far you
may be incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but are
you reaping all of the benefits? For awhile, I thought that all fruits
and vegetables provided the best vitamins when they were eaten raw, but,
I found out not that long ago, that this isn't the case for all
Here are a few of the benefits you can get from cooking your produce & from eating it raw:
I personally prefer my tomatoes cooked, which provides me with more
cancer-fighting lycopene. You can add crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
to stews and spaghetti sauce, or this amazing recipe:
Ingredients & Preparation: 6 4oz chicken breasts 4 medium
zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium onion, cut into wedges 26
ounces of organic tomato sauce 12 ounces box of whole wheat rotini pasta
Place the first 3 ingredients in a slow cooker. Pour in the
sauces. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Prepare the pasta as
shown on the box directions. Serve 1 cup of chicken mixture over 1 cup
You can get more recipes like the one above, check out this link to learn more.
This is another fruit
(although used mainly like a vegetable), that I prefer cooked. When
zucchini is cooked it provides more beta-carotene, which is a building
block for vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to build strong teeth and bones.
Cooked carrots and sweet potatoes are other good sources of
beta-carotene.Try not to over cook them, or you will actually lose more
beta-carotene! Lightly steaming vegetables is best. I know you can't do
that with sweet potatoes, unless you thinly slice them.
I don't eat as many salads as I should. I guess all the chewing of the
healthy green stuff bores me out! On the other hand, I use salsa as a
substitute for salad dressing, so it helps to spice things up a bit!
Guacamole or just plain old avocado are other favorite things that add flavor
to salad. Spinach is a vegetable that is great to eat raw and cooked.
Raw spinach provides more vitamin C helps collagen production, can help
lower blood pressure, antihistamine, and the list goes on. Raw spinach
also provide folate, which helps in repairing and making new cells.
Cooked spinach provides more calcium and zinc, which helps with the
immune system, digestion, acne, and wounds. Here's a spinach-packed
smoothie to get your day started!
Greenberry Shakeology is packed with spinach that has been minimally processed, but if you don't have Shakeology, you can try this smoothie:
Ingredients: 2 cups spinach, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, or low-fat
yogurt, 1 small banana, 1 cup strawberries (or other fruit), 1 tsp. nut
butter, 1 Tbsp. honey (or 1/2 Tbsp. agave), 2 Tbsp. ground almonds
Blend in a blender. It may be a little chunky, so you can strain it with
cheese cloth, but then you're losing the fiber (which aids in
4) Bell peppers:
Green peppers give you
more vitamin B when eaten raw. B Vitamins are antioxidants, which
neutralize cancer-causing free radials. Raw red bell peppers give you a
ton of vitamins!
Now, I LOOOOOOVE my garlic!
Unfortunately, garlic is best eaten raw!!!? It's antimicrobial power is
diminished by cooking, so try mixing it in a vinaigrette, mixed in a
cold pasta salad, or even added to spaghetti after the sauce or noodles have been removed from the heat.
How do you prepare your favorite vegetables?