OVER COOKED: Cooked Food and Nutrition Don’t Always Go Together

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by Josh Taylor

I love getting the family together and getting some real quality time, especially those times when we break out the grill and cook up some delicious hamburgers and steaks, together with some succulent chicken fajitas and awesome kabobs.

A lot of cooking happens during the holidays, and during this time most of us consume more deliciously prepared foods than our bodies need. What you may not realize is eating cooked food isn’t always the healthiest way to eat.

Cooked BEYOND Perfection

Cooking your food can definitely make it taste amazing, and foods like raw chicken or beef need to be cooked to be safely consumed, especially considering today’s food supply. But for many other foods (veggies, for example), cooking them can diminish their nutritional value. Here is some of what happens when we cook food:

  • The majority of the enzymes are destroyed. Enzymes are essential for the body to metabolize food properly.
  • Nutrient ratio is affected. This decreases the bioavailability of the nutrients and makes the food more difficult for the body to digest and assimilate.
  •  The “life” of the food diminishes, thereby hastening its death.
  •  The water content of the food decreases. As water is drawn out of food, nutrients drain out with the water, which is why broth is so nutritious – that’s where the vital food nutrients have gone.

All of these things can be prevented by simply not cooking certain foods.

Cooked Food Invasion

When cooked food enters your body, it is received as a pathogen, and your body reacts by sending a flurry of white blood cells to the digestive tract. This can leave the rest of the body vulnerable to attack because in addition to your body attempting to digest the food consumed, it is having to battle what it thinks is an army of foreign invaders.

Because cooked food lacks enzymes, your body cannot properly digest the food. When your body desperately tries to break down the food, ulcers can sometimes result. Other signs that your body is not breaking down food properly are things like indigestion, smelly gas, bloating and acid reflux.

Because of the constant consumption of cooked and over-cooked foods, your body becomes depleted of many nutrients. One common side effect is over-eating. Your brain recognizes that you are eating food, but what you’re eating contains little-to-no vital nutrients. Your brain then sends the signal that you need to eat again because your body needs the nutrients it didn’t receive in the previous meal. Many Americans are over-fed and under-nourished because of this very thing.

Your body can exhibit many signs of malnourishment. These include headaches, fever, diarrhea, colds, sinusitis, nausea and more. I used to have terrible acne that plagued my skin for years. It wasn’t until after I introduced a surplus of healthy, raw foods to my diet that my acne began to disappear.

80/20 Rule

I’m not suggesting that you eliminate cooked foods from your diet. I eat cooked foods on a regular basis. What I do suggest is increasing your intake of raw unadulterated natural foods. I call it eating by the 80/20 rule. Eat good clean healthy foods as the bulk of your ongoing diet, and then you can afford to eat other foods that could, when over-consumed, be bad for your health.

One simple way to consume many more raw nutrients is through juicing. This allows you to concentrate the fruits and vegetables and increase the bioavailability of the nutrients at the same time. This happens because you no longer have to work to process the insoluble fiber present in the fruits and vegetables. Instead the nutrients are exposed, and you simply assimilate them. Yes, you can drink your healthful raw fruits and veggies, and they taste great!

When you make positive changes to your diet, your body creates a healthy internal environment. Your body is designed to thrive, not simply exist. You will be amazed what your body can do for you when it has all the nutrients and tools it needs.

Josh TaylorJosh “Superfood” Taylor is co-founder of Juicer Heroes, located at 15337 San Pedro in San Antonio. He loves speaking, particularly to children and teens, about nutrition and healthy eating. Visit www.juicerheroes.com or call 210-233-9958 to connect with Taylor.

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