Normally we eat our vegetables cooked as a side during our main meal, but there are many reasons to eat them raw throughout the day. In the same way that some vegetables should be cooked to improve their nutritional value, some vegetables should be eaten raw to preserve theirs. You can actually potentially damage the nutritional value of some vegetables by exposing them to heat because some nutrients cannot survive intense heat. While some raw vegetables may take some time to get used to compared to their cooked counterparts, it is worth it to try it just for the added nutrients.
Some of the nutrients included in raw vegetables include:
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
Thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) is very sensitive to heat. In fact, just by exposing a vegetable to heat is enough to destroy the vitamin and render it useless during digestion. Thiamine is a very important nutrient that can help the body turn food into energy. Though many different types of food have enough thiamine in them to prevent a thiamine deficiency, some foods can actually make any thiamine problems you have worse. Some of the foods that can cancel out your body’s thiamine usage are caffeinated foods like coffee and tea, copious amounts of liquor, raw fish, and shellfish. By eating enough raw vegetables you may be able to cancel any negative effects out. Thiamine has also been viewed as possibly being a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and kidney disease so if you are at risk of developing these diseases you should eat as much as possible.
Vitamin C is known as being a great thing to eat when you aren’t feeling well. Vitamin C is mostly being thought of as being prevalent in oranges due to good marketing but it is also found in many other fruits and vegetables such as brussels sprouts and broccoli. While these previously mentioned foods are normally found on your plate in their cooked forms, they may be of more use to you raw. Studies show that a mere two minutes of heat exposure can deplete your food of up to ten percent of its vitamin C. Vitamin C has numerous health benefits, including boosting your immune system, lowering hypertension, and even possibly treating cancer.