VegetablesOne of the more popular nutrition debates is whether it is better to eat raw or cooked vegetables. The author of the new book Healing Our Children offers an interesting middle-of-the-road approach, suggesting that it actually depends on your current health levels as well as a few other factors. If you’re pregnant, it is especially important that your body receives higher nutritional levels, so you need to understand how to get the most out of your fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This article covers what you should know about raw vs. cooked vegetables so that you can decide which is really better for you:

How Cellulose Affects Your Digestion

Vegetables contain a type of fiber called cellulose, and our bodies can’t break this fiber down efficiently. It can actually be a good thing, because the fiber can help clean out the digestive system, especially during pregnancy because constipation can often be a problem. But, it also needs to be considered that if your intestines and digestive system are already irritated and inflamed, then consuming too much cellulose can actually worsen the problem. If you are suffering from digestion problems, then it is better, according to Healing Our Children, to prepare your vegetables (and also your fruits) at least lightly cooked because it is softer on the digestive system and will give it a chance to heal itself. For many women, this may actually be the best option during pregnancy, because cooking can make specific nutrients absorb more easily into the body.

Another good option to take care of cellulose without losing the enzymes that are found in vegetables and fruits is to juice them. The juicing process helps by removes the pulp – which is the cellulose in the plant- so you are able to get all the nutrition in the juice without having to consume too much cellulose. Drinking fresh juices is one of the best healthy pregnancy tips, because these juices give you a shot of nutrition that a woman can usually drink even when feeling sick.

How Cooking Affects Nutrition Levels in Food

Current science is discovering that both cooked and raw vegetables and fruits are healthy for your body – just in different ways. When produce is cooked, it does cause specific nutrients to break down and those nutrients are no longer as beneficial for the body. But, on the other hand, the cooking process also releases other nutritional elements that your body isn’t able to assimilate as easily when the food is eaten raw! When vegetables and fruits are cooked, it breaks down the cellulose and also increases the bioavailability of many healing nutrients so that your body can more easily break them down, which is especially important when you’re pregnant.

There are numerous ways that vegetables can be cooked while still preserving their nutrition. For your healthy pregnancy diet, it is a good idea to lightly sauté or steam them, or add them to a soup. It is not suggested that you boil vegetables and then draining away the resulting broth, because this process can actually drain away many of the nutrients that have leached into the water. But, one of the healthiest things you can do is to regularly consume soups made with lots of vegetables and bone-based broths, because these soups are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

You can also preserve some of the nutrition in fruits and vegetables when they are juiced. In fact, juicing vegetables and fruits is a great way to heal your body if you are suffering from a chronic disease or are experiencing an overly acidic pH level. In these cases, juiced fruits and vegetables can give your body a boost of nutrition which is easily absorbed because those juices are so easy for the body to digest.

The author of Healing Our Children also notes that it is also best to eat vegetables and fruits along with some form of fat, such as cream or butter, because the combination of these foods makes many of the nutrients more available for your body.

You can find even more nutritional advice that will help you with a healthier pregnancy, birth, and family by checking out Healing Our Children. This book is an excellent resource that is packed with information about the best way to get your body adequate nutrition on a daily basis.

Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae from Flickr