Many internet forums and magazines say that cooked foods loses a lot of its nutritional value or some call cooked dishes “dead.”
What is behind this myth? I’ll try to put a little light in here. So, it may be true that if we cook food a lot of the value gets lost. It is often said that from 42 degrees certain enzymes and nutrients die off. You can even buy a device that rises the cooking temperature exactly to 42 degrees celsius and not more.
Well, is it really possible that so many cultures have eaten wrongly wrong and unhealthy for millennia? And now we finally found out what actually good is? For example, the Indians, Native American, Persians, Greeks and many other cultures, they have been cooking most of their food for millennia.
So according to the Pro-Raw-Food-theory billions of humans have eaten dead food over millennia and even much more.
Ayurveda helps out It is true that when cooking, many nutrients in the food break down. BUT, when we process our food by heating up, our human body can absorb the remaining nutrients in the food much better.
So let’s say: – Uncooked, we take in 100% of the nutritional content of food X, but we absorb only 10% of it. – Cooked, we lose 50% of the nutritional value, but we can easily process and absorb the remaining 50%. Of course, the numbers depend on the food. This is just to make things clearer.
Let’s take turmeric: Uncooked, we absorb only a small fraction of the nutrients into our body. If we cook the root, a lot of it breaks down, but the “bioavailability” increases dramatically and, in the end, turmeric is working better for us when it is cooked.
In general, we can say that there are people who release more digestive juice (for example hydrochloride-acid in the stomach or digestive enzymes). These are people with more “fire” (Pitta). Often these are people who also suffer from heartburn. In this case, it may makes sense to eat raw (but also this must be checked individually beforehand). Still: For the majority of us a raw-food diet is a disaster. Especially if you live in a colder climate.
Some raw fruits or a side salad daily is OK for most people, but if you eat more than 25% raw, it become a problem. Raw food can be eaten for a quick recovery or cleanse. But if you really consider going for a raw diet, then be mindful, listen to your body and also free to try out what Ayurveda recommends.
Welcome to comment how it goes for you. I am curious to hear your experience.