Nancy Wiersma: Eat more vegetables in the rawPublished 10:14pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012
By Nancy Wiersma
Er… ooops … well, what I meant to say was this. I have been doing a lot of research on vegetables lately. We should, no, we need to be eating more vegetables … and they should be eaten raw when possible. Exactly what do I mean by raw?
These are vegetables that are not steamed, boiled, fried, baked, sauted, roasted or cooked in any fashion. If you think about it, vegetables that are canned are processed at a factory, and, when we get them home, we reheat or cook them again. By this time, any vitamin, minerals or nutrients are either heated until they are cooked out or poured out when we drain off any liquids.
Basically, all we are eating is the mass or fiber of the vegetable. Cooking any vegetable at temperatures higher than 115 degrees kills off any live probiotics and enzymes — living nutrients— that a veggie contains in its tissues.
Heat and oxidation during cooking and storage can destroy as much as half of the vitamins and nutrients in foods.
So we need to eat more raw vegetables and fruits.
And fruits and vegetables contain lots of vitamin C, K, folate (or folic acid may help prevent birth defects, reverse precancerous cell changes, canker sores, depression, gout, treat megaloblastic anemia, and gingivitis) iron, beta-carotene (may help prevent cancer of the lungs, stomach, esophagus, mouth, cervix and colon, colds and flu, osteoarthritis, good sources are dark-green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables and yellow fruits), lycopene, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, thiamin and lots of phytochemicals.
Did you know that only one crisp raw red sweet pepper supplies twice the vitamin A and three times the vitamin C of just one orange?
And peppers with cayenne in them may help with blood clots, asthma, fever, sore throats, respiratory infections and high cholesterol. Because cayenne acts as a diaphoretic — which means it makes a person sweat — it is very good for cleansing the body, breaking fevers and fighting infection. Because when we eat something hot that has cayenne in it, it makes our noses run, we sweat, and it gets our body fluids running.
A recent research indicates that tomatoes, even when cooked, have great health benefits, the top one being cancer-fighting properties. Maybe the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, should be changed to a tomato.
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