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Eating in the "Raw"

Updated on March 11, 2012
Fresh Raw vegetables
Fresh Raw vegetables

Raw; No way...Yes way

You probably already know that Humans are the only creatures on earth that do not eat most of their food fesh and raw. Yes, cooking does reduce the time we spend eating and of course requires less chewing, but it changes the chemical make-up of food and can destroy essential nutrients that our body needs. I'm not try to say that you shouldn't cook any vegetables, but there are many vegetables that are very appetizing without being cooked. Did you know that vitamins A, C, and E ( important antioxidants), folic acid and thiamin are destroyed by heat? Also many amino acids, such as lysine, can be altered during the cooking process; the end result being that they cannot be absorbed into the body.

It is in good health that some raw food daily, has many good health benefits. The first benefit is it helps us maintain a proper water balance, lessens salt intake, and I think most importantly, it ensures that we obtain the maximum benefit from the large variety of cancer-protective phytochemicals which are contained in fresh veggies and fruits. Being on a raw food diet or limited raw food regimen can improve our resistance to illnesses such as colds and "flu". It has also been found that it can help lessen certain complications for those who suffer from diabetes and arthritis.

Chopped Veggies for shallow-frying
Chopped Veggies for shallow-frying

If "Raw" doesn't work

Sometimes eating vegetables raw may not be convenient, practical, or you just can't stomach the idea. Here are the tips to minimize vitamin and minerals loss when cooking fresh vegetables; preferably organnic.

When cleaning vegetables, keep washing to the minimum that is consistant with good overall hygiene.

Don't pre-soak vegetables, or start cooking them in cold water. They need to be put directly into boiling water, broth, or steam them.

Cook your veggies as lightly as possible. They should always be firm and tender, not soggy.

Use the water that you cooked the vegetables to make sauces and gravies, thus getting the benefits of the vitamins and minerals.

Another smart technique is to shallow-fry chopped vegetables in a small amount of cooking oil, then cooking them in a covered pan with a small amount of water. This preserves flavor and nutrients.

One last tip is whether you are eating raw or lightly cooking your vegetables, always use them when they are at their premium quality

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    • profile image

      Melanie Munn 7 years ago

      I try to eat raw foods, such as throwing some raw broccoli in with my lunchtime meal. Also I eat fruit everyday. I know I am not getting nearly enough though.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      very useful info

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Thanks girlgenius....I likewise look forward to reading more of your Hubs.

    • girlgenius profile image

      girlgenius 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hello Laringo!

      Thanks for a very informative hub. I look forward to reading more from you.

      Sadia

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      BkCreative, I am interesting in finding out what the raw chef has to tell you. Can't wait for your post on Hubpages.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      guidebaba, you are absolutely correct. Often flavor is lost in some foods from overcooking.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for this Laringo.

      I am getting ready to interview a raw chef here in NYC and post it online. She is marvelous and I have enjoyed her cuisine and detox and on and on and yes, we eat everything except raw and fresh.

      Great hub!

    • guidebaba profile image

      guidebaba 8 years ago from India

      Yes. Raw is Good and Healthy.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Bob, I enjoy raw vegetables as well, a much better choice to snack on than chips or sweets, although I do admit I indulge every now and then; Just because.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

      I enjoy a number of raw vegetables and eat them regularly.

    • profile image

      laringo 8 years ago

      Hi Amanda, my grandkids were introduced to raw veggis and fruits at a young age also, and that is their preferred snack choice now. I think it's great. Thanks for sharing your comments.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Hi Laringo,

      This is all great, sensible advice. My kids eat most of their vegetables raw, probably because I used to give them carrot and cucumber and baby corn to nibble on when they started on finger food. Now they just seem to prefer them that way. I always steam most of my other veggies, and I love to eat plenty of variety.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Christine; I'm glad I was able to give you valuable information, and to have kids love veggies is a blessing for you.

    • christine almaraz profile image

      christine almaraz 8 years ago from colorado springs

      I have a unique situation: my kids love veggies so I'm glad to get more information about preparing them correctly to preserve their nutritional value. nce hubi

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Thanks Jennifer, I eat some veggies raw and I steam others. I find that cutting them up in small slices or pieces is easier to chew and swallow and a better overall expereince.

    • Jennifer profile image

      Jennifer 8 years ago

      Good information, I have always wondered how people eat "raw".