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Monday, January 30, 2012

Cooked vs Raw

My latest obsession is the site Nutrition Data. I've entered pretty much every green, leafy vegetable imaginable to see what nutritional weight it carries. 

One interesting thing I discovered is the nutritional difference between raw and cooked veggies. I had heard and read that lightly cooking broccoli increases its nutritional profile. I was amazed that the same holds true for green leafy veggies like kale.

A cup of cooked kale has 1062mg of Vitamin K, while raw only has 547mg. 

A single raw brussels sprout has 143 IU of Vitamin A, While a cooked one has 217. However, Vitamins C and K decrease with cooking. While Folate and choline increase. Confusing? Overwhelming? Yes. I constantly read that raw fruits and veggies pack a powerful enzyme punch. Something their cooked counterparts lack. I wish I could find similar numbers for various vegetable enzyme levels in raw and cooked forms. 

According to one website: Enzymes are important because they assist in the digestion and absorption of food. If you eat food that is enzyme-less, your body will not get maximum utilization of the food. This causes toxicity in the body. (Can you guess why over 75% of Americans are overweight?)

My take away is that a mix of raw and lightly cooked veggies is best. Throughout my day, I eat or drink a mix of raw veggies and fruits along with some cooked veggies. When I cook my greens, I only steam them for 1 to 2 minutes. Never longer. Usually just 60 seconds and they're done. Which is great for fixing dinner in a hurry. My goal is to always have something green with each meal. So get your green cooking thumb on. 

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