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Many if not all enzymes and phyto-nutrients are temperature sensitive and are destroyed and degraded in the cooking or steaming process. So why is it that not more emphasis is placed on eating fruits and vegetables raw? Fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw in salads. Beans, legumes and grains can be sprouted and eaten without cooking. There are several recipe books in print with delicious meals all prepared raw…yet we seem to think there is nothing wrong with destroying the enzymes and phyto-nutrients through the cooking process..Why?? It’s been proven that most chronic disease disappear once one adopts a raw food diet.

This is true that some of the nutrients and phytochemicals are destroyed when they are exposed to high heat. However, some nutrients actually are more readily absorbed by the body after being cooked. For example, lycopene, which exists in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, is actually absorbed better after the fruit or vegetable has been cooked. Our focus is to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables—in all forms. The most important thing is for people to enjoy fruits and vegetables anyway that they like to eat them. Making sure you are eating your recommended fruit and vegetable intake—no matter what form—is the most important thing! See our recipe database for delicious recipes including our favorite fruits and vegetables!
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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