Raw food diets are considered by some people, as the healthiest way to eat. While it is certainly good to eat raw vegetables studies have proven that some foods are better for your bodies when you cook them.
There are some vegetables that need to be cooked in order to provide your body with the optimum health components. Below are 5 vegetables you should cook before eating.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables can be eaten raw for most people. Some individuals, however, experience bloating and gas from difficult-to-digest sugars present in raw cruciferous vegetables. These sugars are easier to digest once cooked.
Those with thyroid conditions should avoid eating raw cruciferous vegetables as well. Until cooked, cruciferous vegetables have thyroid inhibitors that can worsen thyroid conditions.
Eggplant contains the compound known as solanine, which inhibits the absorption of calcium. Initial characteristics of solanine poisoning are primarily gastrointestinal and nuerological.
Common symptoms are cramping of the stomach, vomiting, headache, nausea, dizziness and diarrhea. If you eat raw eggplant and experience any of the mentioned symptoms, you should immediately seek medical help. Cooking eggplant will neutralize solanine.
Mushrooms, even common button mushrooms, have traces of carcinogenic compounds in raw form. The same toxin, known as hydrazine, is also found in and shiitake and portobello mushrooms, which contain a naturally occurring fomaldehyde. Both chemicals are heat-sensitive and are abolished upon exposure to heat.
You might think nothing by consuming some slices of button mushrooms raw, but to get the anti-cancer effects of mushrooms, you must eat them cooked. A study published in 2009, in the International Journal of Cancer found that regular consumption of cooked mushrooms has been reported to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 60%.
As per the Utah State University, raw potatoes, in particular the green ones have a high concentration of a dangerous toxin called solanine. Raw potatoes also contain anti-nutrients. Although, you can remove most of the anti-nutrients by peeling the potatoes’ skin, some still remain in the flesh.
Also, the uncooked starch in potatoes can result in digestive problems, bloating and gas. For the most benefit and the least risk from your potatoes, steam, bake, saute or otherwise cook them.
5. Red Kidney Beans
These nutrient-dense legumes make a low-cost addition but healthy addition to your diet, just cook them first. “Consuming raw red kidney beans can cause severe vomiting, extreme nausea and diarrhea from a naturally occurring lectin, called phytohaemagglutinin,” says Jennifer Christman, RDN, LDN, a corporate dietitian at Medifast. The component lectin is found in other plants, too, but in raw kidney beans it is highly concentrated, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
To destroy the toxin, you can soak the beans for 5 hours, drain the water, then boil the soaked beans using fresh water for at least 30 minutes. Canned kidney beans are cooked and are safe to eat.
Your body can absorb more lycopene from cooked tomatoes. That is according to a study conducted by Cornell University, in which the ability to absorb lycopene cooked at varying temperatures was measured. Tomatoes were heated for 2 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes resepectively. Levels of these disease-fighting tomatoes went up with each incremental increase in heating.
Lycopene is known as a cancer-fighting ingredient, therefore, make sure some of the tomatoes you eat are stewed up in sauces or soup.