To Cook or Not To Cook?

Different foods and different types of nutrition emerge every year. Somehow we all seek the miracle, but there is no ideal formula in this variety, that's for sure. Everyone needs to know the pros and cons of their diet in their own body.

Let's take the issue of raw nutrition, which is very familiar to our ears, among hundreds of alternatives to healthy eating. Like other diet types, raw nutrition has both sufficient and insufficient points. because raw food While it is a very good way of consumption for some foods, it can also cause harm with some foods.

Let's take a look at the benefits and misconceptions of raw nutrition.

The biggest plus that we come across is vitamins, because the heat resistance ratio of different vitamins is constantly changing due to their structure. Types of vitamins that are not heat stable dissolve in water during the cooking process. For example, even if you apply a short boiling time, you lose many of the B and C vitamins. In other words, it is recommended to consume antioxidants raw, which contain these vitamins, which are of primary importance for your body. But in this case, there should not be a perception that all antioxidants should be consumed raw. Some antioxidant content increases with heat. Beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene are antioxidants whose potential increases with cooking.

Another issue is enzymes. Some researchers claim that enzymes in protein structure are damaged during cooking and this adversely affects digestion. It is argued that raw nutrition supports the digestive system. These claims are controversial because our digestive system already has enough mechanisms and every cooked or uncooked food already loses its enzyme properties when exposed to stomach acid. In other words, it is a wrong point of view to evaluate raw nutrition in terms of enzymes. In fact, we need to completely eliminate the idea that raw food is easy to digest. You ask why? Let's explain…

Think of each item with its bonds. These bonds are structures that hold matter together and preserve its properties. Some of the bonds in food are broken during cooking. Thus, cooked foods are more easily broken down during digestion. Abundantly broken down food means easy digestion.

So, does it weaken? Is it healthy?

Raw nutrition does not have serious consequences for weight loss, but it is a fact that it is difficult to digest and creates a feeling of satiety and increases fiber intake.

For health reasons, we know that it is not possible to consume foods such as meat raw. If we consider animal foods, which are an intense source of vitamin D and omega-3, we miss out on valuable nutrients for life.

What shall we cook?

  • Tomato and carrot It contains significant levels of beta carotene and lycopene. Cooking these foods increases their antioxidant capacity and absorption.
  • Mushroom may contain several different carcinogenic substances. The content of this carcinogenic substance is seriously reduced during cooking.
  • Beans When consumed raw, it can harm you with a toxin called lectin it contains. Cooking will break down the lectin structure.
  • Spinach contains many different micronutrients. In order for these micronutrients to be better absorbed, they must be cooked.

What should we cook?

  • Radish It loses most of its folate content during cooking.
  • Broccoli It contains significant amounts of vitamin C and sulforaphane. Both of these nutrients are seriously lost during cooking.
  • Red pepperIt also has a very large vitamin C pool.
  • Garlic It is a serious preservative with anti-cancer compounds in its content. Unfortunately, these compounds are not heat resistant.
  • Onion It contains serious elements that protect heart health. But like other important agents, these nutrients are also heat-labile.

More for the curious:


Dr. Can Farmer

About the author:

Alara Dolunay – Be People Editor

Alara Dolunay, who completed her undergraduate education at the Department of Media and Communication Systems at Bilgi University, completed her internships as an assistant to the project manager of ICM Turkey Digital Marketing Agency and Doğan Paksoy Gallery Young Art Magazine Writer. In 2020, she joined the Sotheby's Art Institute, Art History program. He has been working as Creative Editor at Be People since January 2021.

Alara Dolunay

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