The mastery of fire is the one trait that separates man from beasts. As soon as we gained the ability to warm ourselves, we lost the need to grow fur all over our bodies. We were also able to seriously reduce the amount of bacteria we consume, until entire organs (such as the appendix) became obsolete. The benefits of cooking far outweigh any negatives, but we may be cooking foods that we were intended to eat raw.
Raw Food for a Better Life
Most people would naturally prefer the taste of boiled or baked broccoli to a completely raw stalk. However, the raw broccoli is better at replenishing important enzymes. While it's always a good idea to cook meats and poultry until they're well-done, doing so to some foods robs them of not only nutrients -- but the enzymes you need as well.
Raw Food, Health, and Detoxification
What are Enzymes
The technical definition of an Enzyme is an organic substance that's intended to generate a particular reaction. They're catalysts that cause a chemical reaction when they're introduced. Hormones also cause reactions in the body, but they differ from enzymes in several ways.
Enzymes Versus Proteins
Enzymes are typically proteins, generated within living cells. They usually have an effect within the very cell that produced them. Hormones on the other hand usually have an effect somewhere other than the place they were generated. Hormones also have a much more pronounced effect upon the body, but enzymes are still very important.
Explain Everything Proteins and Enzymes
What Enzymes Do
Essentially, enzymes speed up the chemical reactions within the body's cells. Different cells have different responsibilities, and they rely upon different enzymes to assist them. Enzymes are usually composed of amio acids, and they help to break down proteins, sugars and fats. Some enzymes even help to form other enzymes, to keep you healthy. If you're missing a particular type of enzyme, your overall physical health is going to suffer.
The Real Damage of Cooking
Anytime food is heated to more than 118 degrees F -- for more than three minutes -- the proteins began to break down and coagulate. The natural fibers also began to break down, which takes the food longer to digest. Up to half of all the vitamins within the food is lost and all of the enzymes have been destroyed. Eating cooked foods doesn't directly reduce the healthy enzymes in your body, but they don't replenish the enzymes and proteins that your body needs. Worst of all, pesticides are actually rearranged into more harmful compounds when they're heated. While few people would encourage you to eat raw meat, a recent study confirms the dangers of cooking food.
The Truth About Raw Food
Francis M. Pottenger Jr. is a doctor who conducted an experiment with 900 cats. Half of the cats he fed raw meats while feeding the other half cooked meats. The cats that were fed cooked meats were more irritable and more susceptible to disease. It has even been suggested that a lifetime of eating cooked foods is responsible for many of the diseases suffered by the elderly. Alzheimer's disease is caused by the formation of plaques and tangles in the brain. While there's no known connection between the two, it's known that eating cooked foods introduces inorganic substances into the blood stream. Eating cooked foods also robs the body of anti-inflammatory enzymes, which can lead to arthritis flair ups. It's still important to cook meats and kill harmful bacteria. However eating raw vegetables in one's youth may lead to more enjoyable senior years.
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