Maintaining a healthy diet seems like hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many foods you can eat raw which will provide you with more nutrients than they do when cooked. These raw foods can be perfect options for a quick snack or lunch away from home. Since they are raw, they need minimum preparation. If you eat raw foods regularly, your body with get great health benefits.
1. Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables go through the fermentation process that pre-digest starches in foods, hence making them easy to be absorbed and digested by the body. These vegetables also have many enzymes and probiotics that boost the immune system and also improve nutrient absorption.
You can easily ferment vegetables like carrots, kale, celery, cucumber, and cabbage. Spices like garlic and ginger are some of the spices you can use when fermenting vegetables. You can add fermented vegetables in soups, salads, main dishes or use them as complements to main dishes to add great flavor.
Some fermented vegetables include Tempeh, Korean Kimchi, raw kefir, and yogurt. However, commercial kefirs and yogurts are not advised because they are loaded with sugars that destroy the beneficial bacteria.
2. Raw Honey
Unless someone is allergic, most people enjoy a little honey. Raw honey provides propolis and bee pollen which are key beneficial components. Honey is a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The antioxidants are called phenolic compounds which are essentially free radical fighting agents in fruits and vegetables.
Free radicals contribute to aging, increase risk factors for cancer, heart disease, and other chronic medical conditions. The polyphenols found in honey helps to prevent heart disease. Phytonutrients found in raw honey have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful to the body.
You can use honey as a healthy substitute for sugar when you are dieting. You will enjoy many benefits if you include a teaspoon of raw honey in your daily diet. However, since honey is high in sugar and calories, we advise you to take it in moderation. Try using it to sweeten coffee or tea, instead of adding processed sugar. You could also spread it on toast or add a few drops to your morning berries.
3. Raw Coconut
Compared to the dried and processed coconut, raw coconut provides a broad range of nutritional benefits. Coconut water is nutritious because it’s rich in magnesium, potassium, and sodium; it also has the natural ability to hydrate and replace electrolytes hence used as a form of sports drink.
However, coconuts should be taken in moderation because they are high in calories. If eaten in the same portion as apples, they have fewer sugar carbs.
There are mixed feelings when it comes to sprouts, some people love them while others hate them. Even so, sprouts are very healthy, and they improve overall health if you eat them raw, they only require some getting used to.
Sprouts have high levels of key enzymes, nutrients, and numerous vitamins because they are vegetables that are still in the growth state. For instance, alfalfa sprouts have vitamins A, B, C and E, Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, and Chlorophyll.
For vegetarians who require more protein in their diets, sprouts are also a great source of protein. For those who hate the taste of raw sprouts, try making them into a smoothie and flavor with other healthy ingredients.
Not only are blueberries tasty, but they are also full of antioxidants that prevent chronic disease by fighting free radicals. They are very low in sugar and calories but high in fiber, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C.
Instead of reaching out for chocolates for sweet quick pick-me-up snack, try having a handful of blueberries. If you want to keep the blueberries longer for extra convenience, purchase the frozen blueberries. When they are affordable, stock them up and enjoy the benefits.
6. Raw Broccoli
Eating raw broccoli helps you fight cancer by allowing you to access a cancer-fighting compound known as myrosinase. The compound is killed off when broccoli is cooked. Therefore, eating raw broccoli sprouts doubles your intake of anticancer properties.
Freshly raw chopped garlic has the alliinase enzyme that converts alliin into allicin, creating the distinct aroma of fresh garlic and also help improve your health. Allicin has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre.
Fresh raw garlic is known to release a short-lived gas known as hydrogen sulfide that protects the heart by acting as an intracellular signaling compound. By processing, cooking, and drying garlic, we destroy the value of its compounds.
8. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers have about 150% Vitamin C of the daily-recommended value. According to the National Institutes of Health, cooking peppers at or above 375 degrees Fahrenheit breaks down the vital nutrients. Eating the red bell peppers raw, helps prevents atherosclerosis that leads to heart diseases.
Oil-roasted nuts are tasty, that’s for sure! However, when nuts are cooked valuable nutrients like iron and magnesium are reduced. You also add extra calories and fat to the nuts by cooking them.
According to a study by Cornell University, raw onions contain sulphur compounds and cancer-fight antioxidants which are only present in their juice. The nutrients found in onions also help protect the body against prostate and lung cancer.
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