My raw food obsession began when I was in college. The food cooked in my hostel mess was pathetic. Luckily, we had a fruit shop at our campus. First, I replaced my breakfast of inedible ‘paranthas’ with a refreshing glass of mango shake. On those hot summer days, it gave me that much needed satisfaction and energy.
My rosy cheeks that had turn pale from that unsavory hostel food, started blushing again. Gradually, I replaced my diner too with bananas and a glass of milk. Very soon I was glowing with full health. I started spending more time in library, reading books about fitness, health and beauty. I discovered, how wonderful raw food diet can be for weight loss and health.
I turned vegan. Not only did I stopped eating eggs, drinking milk and banished all dairy from my diet but also stopped eating all cooked food. My diet comprised of only fruits and a little bit of salads. First, I lost all curves, then my skin became sallow and dull. My hair started shedding and my cheeks became hollow.
The debate between raw vs cooked food is still hot. While many raw food enthusiasts especially Tonya Zavasty, author of “Your Right to Be Beautiful: Miracle of Raw Foods” have achieved wonders with 100 % raw food diet, many like me have met with undesired outcomes. This brings me to this post, to enlighten all beauty freaks with the importance of right food and nutrition in realizing their dream for fabulous skin and shiny hair.
I am neither for cooked foods, nor for going totally raw. When it comes to beauty, middle path is the best. No doubt, cooking kills certain essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals in some foods, but cooking also kills many harmful bacteria, chemicals etc. present in fruits and vegetables today. Also, cooking sometimes softens the food making it more palatable and digestible.
So here are some tips on which foods should be cooked and which are better eaten raw.
Never Deep Fry Your Foods:
Deep frying foods releases free radicals that are notorious for causing all sorts of damage. From causing pre- mature wrinkles to diseases like cancer and heart attack, free radicals are extremely dangerous to our overall health & wellbeing.
Always Cook Your Spinach, Carrot and Other Greens:
Spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and all bell peppers contain antioxidants like cartenoids, ferulic acid, etc. which are best delivered and better absorbed by the body when cooked. Ferulic acid is a well known anti-ageing and skin lightening nutrient.
Savor Your Tomatoes in Ketchup and Puree:
Tomatoes are the richest source of Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and a natural sunscreen. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of cooking tomatoes on low heat increases lycopene content by 35%. Great reason to relish your ketch up all the more!
With Nuts & Fruits Take the Raw Route:
Nuts contain many essential fatty acids that are great for skin and hair. However, on heating or cooking, these turn into bad cholesterol which is dangerous for the body. Similarly, fruits contain many essential vitamins especially vitamin C, which gets destroyed in cooking.
Garlic & Onion, Abstain from Heating Them:
Garlic and onion are best eaten raw. They contain many powerful compounds like Allicin, Sulphur, Zinc and Calcium that have amazing health & beauty benefits. They also contain selenium, which helps in the absorption of Vitamin E in the body. Cooking destroys many of these essential compounds.
Last but not the least, always chew your food well, savoring each morsel as you eat. Natural beauty begins from making right choices. Eat the right foods and experience the magic of health and beauty permeating all the areas of your life. Blissful eating!!
PS: The article was originally published on Aug 7, 2013 and here’s the latest update on the topic:
“British Journal of Nutrition published a study, which found participants who followed a strict raw food diet had normal levels of vitamin A and high levels of antioxidant beta-carotene (found in dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables) but relatively low levels of the antioxidant lycopene (red pigment found in tomatoes and red bell peppers, among others). This brings to the conclusion that not all vegetables eaten raw are healthier and nor all cooked or processed foods is unhealthy.”
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