Surprising reasons why you should be cooking your food

Surprising reasons why you should be cooking your food. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

  • While some will argue that raw foods are better because the heat from cooking destroys the nutrients in our food, that’s not always true

Last week, I talked about the importance of cooking your food before you eat it. I compared the stomach to a saucepan of hot water on the stove. The temperature of the water needed to be high enough to cook (digest) the food that came in. 


Putting cold ingredients into the pot would mean that you would need to turn up the heat, which can deplete the body leading to conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (when you’re tired all the time, no matter what you eat or how much you sleep), and leaky gut/candida overgrowth (brain fog, food intolerances, fatigue, nausea, problem skin) (see box).


All this from eating raw food? Not necessarily. Of course, there are other factors in play, such as high levels of stress, hormonal changes, eating on the run and not choosing the most nutritious meals to overuse of medication (especially antibiotics).


However, a good diet of cooked foods can actually go a long way to remedy this. I’m sure many of you will have heard the following quote from Greek physician Hippocrates: “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food”. Considered by many to be the father of modern medicine, he regularly used certain types of diets to remedy certain ailments.


So how can you improve your diet? By adding more lightly cooked vegetables and “warming” foods and spices to your diet (dates, chicken, butternuts squash, cinnamon, ginger, onions, garlic). (On the contrary, foods like eggs, tofu, wheat and raw foods have a “cooling” effect on the body regardless of whether they are hot or cold when consumed.)


While some will argue that raw foods are better because the heat from cooking destroys the nutrients in our food, that’s not always true. For example, phytochemicals like lycopene (think tomatoes) and carotenoids (found in anything orange) are actually enhanced when cooked, becoming more readily available to our bodies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the heat from cooking is believed to break down the cell wall of the plant, thereby making their nutrients moreavailable to us when we consume them. 



SIDE BAR

Ask Sona: 

How do I know if I am depleted?

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include:

  • Brain Fog, Lack of appetite, craving sweet foods, nausea, sweating without exertion, difficulty waking in the morning, diabetes, digestive issues, fatigue or weakness


Symptoms of leaky gut and candida overgrowth include:

  • Digestive issues, fatigue or weakness, inflammation, asthma, weight gain, water retention, high blood sugar, urinary tract infections, eczema, bloating, lack of appetite and fatigue

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