The big debate, 'raw v cooked' which method wins?
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) states cooked food is best. The Chinese never eat anything raw. NN (Naturopathic Nutrition) states food should be raw. But who is right?
After listening intently to Elaine Wilkins speak at the CHIC annual conference (Colonic Hydrotherapy International Conference) it all seemed a little confusing at first.
The debate for raw food was that it is more nutrient dense. We all know that certain vitamins are water soluble and so cooking in water will remove these, but does that mean we will absorb more nutrients from raw food?
TCM believes we need warm food to nourish the spleen, and that cold food doesn't digest well, and they're right. The body will always try to keep a constant balance, and this includes the temperature of the body. We call this homeostasis, so if food is too cold, the body will have to work hard to bring it back up to the right temperature. Evidence has also shown that cooking food makes it more bioavailable, that's easier to digest and absorb nutrients.
Having looked at both sides, what interesting came out through Elaine's thorough research was as follows:
- TCM - food should be cooked to 100 degrees.
- NN - food should be eaten at between 100 and 120 degrees.
Just goes to show, how two seemingly different approaches to healing and health are actually singing from the same hymn sheet.
So for a healthy existence don't overcook or cook at a high temperature. Food is best delivered between 100 and 120 degrees to make the most of its vital nutrition.
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About Ruth Tansey
I'm a BANT and CNHC registered nutritional therapist with a passion for all things healthy. I specialise in IBS, and other bowel disorders, as well as ME/CFS, and Fibromyalgia. As all disease starts with poor gut health I treat a wide number of ailments, from migraines and allergies, to ezcema and heart disease.