Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size
A
A
A

Eating Raw Foods

Is uncooked healthier?

When Cooking Is Better

Raw isn't always best. Sometimes cooked foods give you more nutrients for the buck, say Rutgers University and Taiwanese researchers at last spring's annual American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. They found that the body more easily absorbs iron from 37 of 48 vegetables tested when they're boiled, stir-fried, steamed, or grilled. Of note, the absorbable iron in cabbage jumped from 6.7% to 27% with cooking. That of broccoli flowerets rose from 6% to 30%.

Surprisingly, tomatoes may also be best not in the salad, but in the sauce. A study published in the December 6, 1995 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that eating cooked tomatoes could improve your chances of avoiding prostate cancer. Harvard researchers studied men who ate lots of tomato sauce, including that in foods like pizza and spaghetti. Those who ate at least 10 servings of tomato sauce every week were 45% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ate fewer servings.

Let's Get Serious

However, don't get bogged down with figuring out yet another diet or baffled over how to cook (or not cook) your veggies or fruits. What's most important is that you actually eat them: 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruit every day, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This amount is a far cry from the 3.6 servings of fruits and vegetables, combined, that Americans are now getting.

The raw foods diet might help bring you above the average American's intake. At least that's what I've found. After following it for a month, I'm eating more fruits and vegetables, though not necessarily raw (I sometimes steam or grill them). I have more energy. I'm spending less at the grocery store (processed snacks are alarmingly expensive) and crave less sugar and fat. I've even lost a little weight -- it's almost impossible to overeat crudit?s.

No matter how you slice it, making room for raw isn't doing me any harm. On the contrary, it's most likely doing some good.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
pantry
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens