Raw Vs. Cooked

There are some natural food writers that insist that everything must be raw to be healthy. While it is true that cooking destroys enzymes, it is also true that people have cooked at least some of their food for as long as we have records. Grains contain phytates that block mineral absorption. Soaking and cooking them largely eliminates this problem. Most seeds and many nuts have similar properties and so are better soaked and then dried at low temperatures to retain most of the enzyme content. Humans can absorb more of the vitamin content of many vegetables when they are properly cooked, while other vegetables are healthier when they are raw. For example the beta carotene in carrots is turned into vitamin A, when the carrot is cooked and eaten with some fat. Egg yolks are very nutritious raw, while the white of the egg contains a substance that will block biotin (a part of B complex). Certainly, raw milk and cream have many healthy characteristics that are lost with pasteurization and homogenization. Some advocate the use of raw meat, while others abhor it. It does seem that the less meat is cooked, the more enzymes it retains so that it is more digestible. In researching traditional diets, the healthiest societies ate a combination of raw and cooked food. Fermented foods, like kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut are a good way to add beneficial enzymes to your diet. For more information on this topic see the following articles