To Cook or not to cook…

Some believe that eating a raw diet is one of the best ways to increase digestive enzymes in the body and that cooking in turn destroys many nutrients. While this may be true for a good deal of what we eat, some research is showing that there may be some benefits to cooking certain vegetables. In a study done by the International Journal of Food, Science and Technology certain benefits in favor of cooking were pointed out. Asparagus contain at least six nutrients and cancer fighting antioxidants. By steaming these stalks slightly there was an increase of 16% of these nutrients. Mushrooms contain muscle-building protein, heart healthy niacin and immune boosting zinc. However mushrooms can also contain a slight level of toxicity which is removed by lightly sautéing in olive oil and garlic. Spinach has a level of oxalic acid which may hinder the absorption of iron and calcium. Cooking spinach quickly in boiling water can reduce this level of oxalate by as much as 40%. A good way to cover your bases would be to alternate both, consuming raw as well as cooking some of your favorite vegetables. This is a good way to achieve balance in your diet.