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10 ways to get the most nutrients from your food. Think raw is always best? Then you seriously need this.

Eating the right foods is the easiest way to get more nutrients into your diet—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get them. For some people, cooking can be a very time-consuming process, and others may find a raw diet too limiting. There are plenty of options to choose from, but the best ones are often the ones that make the most sense for you.

Raw food diet is a controversial (and good) way to get the most nutrients out of your food. Some people claim that living raw is the only way to go and that cooked food is not only unhealthy but also not the best way to get the nutrition you need. Still others believe that raw food is the best way to get all the nutrients you need.

Did you know that many fresh fruits and vegetables have the same amount of nutrients as raw? That’s because they are not cooking them. The best food to eat is raw. We consume more nutrients when food is raw. That includes vegetables, fruits, seafood, lean meats, and dairy products. The reason is because cooking food decreases the amount of enzymes in food. Enzymes in our body work with vitamins to help our bodies digest food. If we don’t have enzymes, we don’t digest food as well, and we don’t get the nutrition from it.

Are you unsure whether you’re receiving enough vitamins and minerals? Take a look at these tips to make sure you receive what you want.


Last year, I went to Vermont to see a close buddy. She and her family reside in an ancient farmhouse on a big plot of land, large enough for her to produce most of the vegetables they eat in her garden.

Consider rolling green hills, brilliantly colorful tomato baskets, and little children in gallops. (Most home surfaces also have a coating of dirt on them.)

Almost every night, my friend’s family eats food from their own farm. She understands the concept of nutrition.

So it was wonderful fun when she boldly proclaimed one evening, looking up from the boiling pan, “I adore overdone green beans.” Consider the case of a cripple. For instance, withering. As though you weren’t supposed to enjoy them.

Nervousness! Garbage! The nutrition in these beans are evaporating!

At least, that’s what many of my Clean Eating-obsessed coworkers claim.

Is it true that eating raw (or minimally cooked) meals is always best for your health?

I spoke with three nutritionists: Ryan Andrews, Sarah Maughan, and Brian St. Clair Pierre, all of whom are trainers in our men’s and women’s nutrition programs (and they all have great credibility).

The tale turns out to be much more fascinating than the one concerning cooked vs raw food.

A variety of mechanical and chemical changes occur in the body while preparing, biting, chewing, and digesting food:

  • the product’s nutritional value (i.e. the nutrients it contains), and
  • Different nutrients’ bioavailability (i.e. the extent to which they are absorbed by the body).

This entails:

  • When food is consumed raw, certain nutrients are absorbed much better.
  • Other nutrients, on the other hand, are better absorbed when the food they contain is cooked, sliced or chopped, and/or consumed with other meals.

The top ten methods to obtain the most nutrients from your diet are listed below.

1. Consume locally produced food as soon as possible after harvesting.


You receive the most vitamins and minerals (as well as the greatest taste) from locally produced vegetables when you eat it directly from the ground.

You are disconnecting them from their food supply by removing them from the ground (or from the vine, bush, or tree). The longer they are apart, the less nutritional value they have.

According to some experts, unless you purchase and consume a fresh piece of fruit or vegetable within 72 hours of harvesting it, it has already lost 15-60 percent of its numerous vitamins by the time you buy it from the store.

Local food reigns supreme when it comes to nutrition, regardless of whether it is organic or conventional. As a result, going to a local farm or farmers market will assist you obtain the highest nutritional value goods.

My only issue is that I reside in New Jersey. And certainly not in New Jersey. Our beautiful, but restricted farmers market is far more handy than Shop Rite (or Wrong Shop, as a neighbor puts it).

Then there’s the winter. Between November and June, there isn’t a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables available in Northeast America.

Fortunately, there are a variety of alternative options for getting the most nutrients from your food without having to sell your home and relocate.

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2. Soaking, cutting, and mixing are all steps in the process.

In a number of methods, these culinary bases may make vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients more accessible:

  • Nutrients are released mainly through breaking down the stiff cell walls of fruits and vegetables when they are sliced.
  • Alliinase, an enzyme present in onions and garlic that stimulates the production of a nutrient called allicin, is released when these items are chopped. When eaten, allicin stimulates the production of other chemicals that may help us stay healthy.
  • Phytic acid, which may partly impede the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium, is reduced by soaking grains and beans.

It’s much better if you’re already doing all of this. You now understand why they function.

3. Properly store fruits and vegetables.

There are two things to think about when it comes to storage:

  • Make it simple to appreciate your plants: Fruits and vegetables should be stored where they will be used the most.
  • Slow the loss of nutrients: Nutrients are broken down by heat, light, and oxygen.

This is why it’s a good idea…

  • Refrigerate all veggies, excluding root vegetables, until ready to use.
  • All fruits, with the exception of berries, such as tomatoes and avocados, should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
  • all chopped fruits and vegetables in an airtight jar, sprinkled with lemon juice (The antioxidant vitamin C delays the breakdown of chopped food, which oxidizes rapidly.)
  • All of the herbs were crushed and frozen in an ice cube tray with water, preserving their wonderful phytonutrients. (Many customers, according to Maughan, leave them in the produce drawer unopened – and eventually useless.)

4. Consume the majority of water-soluble and heat-sensitive nutrition sources in their natural state.

Vitamin B1, vitamin B5, folic acid, and vitamin C are all destroyed by heat. When you consume some foods raw, you receive more of these chemicals.

As a result, goods like

  • Sunflower seeds, peas, beets, and Brussels sprouts are all good options (sources of vitamin B1),
  • Avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cauliflower (sources of vitamin B5),
  • folic acid-rich foods include spinach, kohlrabi, broccoli, and kale.
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and peppers (sources of vitamin C)

To get the most out of these water-soluble nutrients, it’s better to consume them uncooked.

Raw spinach, for example, has three times the amount of vitamin C as cooked spinach.

Cooking depletes water-soluble B vitamins and vitamin C. If you wish to cook these items, keep them on a low heat setting and avoid exposing them to a lot of water.

This includes the following:

  • Laundering of funds
  • Steam;
  • Cell;
  • frying; and/or
  • Microwave.

5. Being aware of the finest meals to prepare.


Cooking causes a 15-55 percent loss of nutrients. When cooking in water, the majority of nutrients are lost.

However, certain foods have the greatest nutrients when they are cooked.

When you’re cooking, for example:

  • Lycopene bioavailability in tomatoes is substantially increased. When tomatoes are cooked for 30 minutes, lycopene levels rise by 25%, according to studies.
  • Beta-carotene, which is present in red/orange/yellow vegetables including tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach, has a high bioavailability. Plant cell walls are broken down when they are cooked.
  • Eggs and meat proteins are denatured, making them considerably simpler to digest.
  • Makes iron and other minerals more easily absorbable by reducing oxalates, acids that make minerals unavailable by binding to them.
  • Lowers the amounts of some toxic dietary components like cyanide (in yucca) and possible anti-nutrients (in grains and legumes), allowing all of the beneficial aspects in these meals to shine through.

Expert advice: Save the liquid from cooking the veggies for the broth. This manner, you won’t lose these nutrients if you eat them later.

Always remember the broader picture: boiled potatoes are always preferable than fries.

6. Combine meals in a smart way to get the most nutrients.

Certain dishes are linked with one other in various cuisines throughout the globe. (Think of spices in Italian food with lemon and olive oil, or complicated spice mixes in Caribbean, African, or South Asian cuisine.)

Cooks intuitively understood that a balanced diet with a broad range of foods is ideal 20,000 years ago, maybe via trial and error.

Combining the appropriate meals not only enhances the flavor, but it also aids in the absorption of all the nutrients included in the food.

Here are a few examples.

Combine the grease and the lubricating grease in a mixing bowl.

Consume fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K together with dietary fats to help dissolve and prepare the vitamins for absorption.

As a result, goods like:

  • Squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots (vitamin A) ,
  • Mushrooms and eggs (vitamin D),
  • Vitamin E-rich foods include spinach, chard, and asparagus, as well as
  • Broccoli, cabbage, and spinach (vitamin K)

1 to 2 thumb-sized servings of healthy fats are better:

  • a mixture of nuts;
  • Lawyer;
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil;
  • and/or coconut oil
  • Oil.

Outstanding contribution: Because they contain their own healthful fat, foods like salmon (which includes vitamin D), egg yolks and liver (vitamin A), and sunflower seeds (vitamin E) are self-sufficient.

Iron and vitamin C should be combined.

Non-heme iron is iron obtained from sources other than meat. Non-heme iron, which is present in animal products, is not as effectively absorbed as heme iron (such as red meat or dark poultry).

Combine non-haem iron-rich meals with vitamin C-rich foods to guarantee that the non-haem iron in our plant buddies is absorbed 6 times better.

This has two effects:

  • Vitamin C may aid in the mineral’s absorption by plants.
  • Vitamin C may inhibit the absorption of other dietary components.

As a result, goods like:

  • Spinach,
  • Grass,
  • soybeans, and
  • Lenses

Everything will improve:

  • Lemon juice, squeezed
  • slices of orange,
  • Strawberries or strawberries
  • Chile.

Consider this: Salad of spinach with orange segments, strawberries, and a sauce of lemon juice. Alternatively, cooked cabbage with chile and a squeeze of lemon.

Iron, zinc, and sulphur are combined in this formula.

Finally, it’s better to eat meals high in iron and zinc at the same time as those high in sulfur. Sulphur bonds to these minerals, allowing for greater absorption.

As a result, goods like:

  • Beef, liver, and turkey (rich in iron)
  • Oysters, steak, and turkey are just a few of the dishes on the menu (rich in zinc)

With garlic, onions, and egg yolks, everything tastes better. (Bubby’s chicken liver and egg yolk pie is available at the neighborhood grocery shop.)

7. Keep it straightforward.


To keep track of stuff, don’t make spreadsheets. Be straightforward and realistic.

Still, eating broccoli in any form is preferable than not eating it at all because it isn’t ideal. Brian Voice of Reason St Pierre, as he is fond of saying:

It’s always better to have 60% of something than 0% of nothing.

It’s also crucial to think about things like quantity. For example, eating five cups of cooked spinach (and all of the nutrients it provides) is considerably simpler than eating five cups of raw spinach.

Cooked and raw forms of the same food may sometimes be equally healthy, but in different ways. Raw spinach, for example, may have more iron, but it also has more compounds that prevent iron absorption.

If you’re irritated by cooking or not cooking, here’s a solid rule of thumb to follow.

  • Cooking depletes the nutrients in water-soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C).
  • Vitamins that are fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K) lose the least nutrition when cooked.
  • Damn it, just eat your veggies.

8. Frozen meals should not be overlooked.

Does broccoli that has been frozen have the same nutritional value as broccoli that has been plucked from the ground and eaten raw? Perhaps not. However, how frequently do you consume raw, uncooked food?

Processed foods may lose up to 90% of their vitamin C content, according to studies. However, when you have a lot on your plate, frozen fruits and veggies or canned vegetables come in useful. And a little vitamin C is preferable than none at all.

I’ve seen far too many people pick pizza over frozen broccoli because they believe it’s the nutritious equal of cardboard, says Andrews. Don’t be someone like that.

Also keep in mind that freezing and canning have minimal impact on fiber. So, whatever method you choose to get your veggies, consume them.

9. Use an animal source if at all feasible.

Many vitamins and minerals from animals are more bioavailable than those from plants (which can chemically bind vitamins and minerals or require many steps to convert them into what our bodies prefer).

Iron from meat, for example, is more readily absorbed than iron from vegetables, as we’ve seen:

  • Animal protein contains hemo-iron, which is protected from degradation by other nutrients and minerals in your gastrointestinal system by hemoglobin molecules. This implies that the iron is absorbed in its natural state by intestinal cells that are specifically specialized to absorb it.
  • When non-ferrous iron from plant sources like spinach comes into touch with other things in your stomach, it starts to break down, so you can only absorb a limited quantity.

Many other vitamins and minerals, such as B. calcium and vitamin A, are in the same boat.

This, we believe, is a good excuse to treat yourself to a nice sirloin steak or sliced sashimi now and again.

Remember that if you eat a plant-based diet, you may have to work harder to acquire certain vitamins and minerals from your food companions.

Check your tolerance level.

Nutrients are useless if you are unable to absorb them due to an undetected food intolerance.

Even while raw food is theoretically healthier for you, not everyone tolerates it well.

Consider an elimination diet to discover what you can’t handle if you have gastrointestinal symptoms like flatulence, bloating, or trouble bowel movements, and then contact your doctor (nutrient deficiencies are more common than you think).

You can better optimize your nutritional intake after you’ve removed the items that impact you the most.

What should I do now?

Remember: We don’t think eating decisions should be given too much thought, worry, or enthusiasm. Keep things basic and sensible.

Here are some easy measures you may take to increase your nutritional consumption, listed in order of importance:

1. Simply eat.

You may choose from a variety of whole foods. The more vibrant and fresh, the better. You’ll be 99 percent done if you do this.

2. Combine fresh and cooked meals in your diet.

Concentrate on the foods you like and how they are prepared. You’ll be able to consume them properly this way.

3. Are you interested in upgrading?

If you currently consume at least 5 fistfuls of veggies each day and want to boost your nutritional intake without using supplements, try this method:

  • to eat more food grown locally,
  • Shortly after harvest, these items are consumed.
  • Most veggies may be eaten fresh or gently cooked.
  • when cooked, eat other veggies
  • the proper preservation of fruits and vegetables, and
  • For maximum consumption, mix with supplemental feeding.

4. Seek guidance from traditional or ancestral food.

Micronutrients are often used in these diets. Consider the following scenario:

  • The antibacterial capabilities of phytonutrients found in fresh herbs are part of the well-known Mediterranean diet, as are minced garlic and cooked tomatoes. They also like eating organ meats, which are high in nutrients.
  • Anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger, as well as pain-relieving chili peppers, are used in South Asian and Caribbean cuisines.
  • Arctic civilizations, such as the Scandinavians and the Inuit, consume fish liver every day to obtain adequate vitamin D throughout the long, dark winters. (Those courageous enough to eat the eyes of a ram’s head, known in Iceland as svi, get phosphorus and vitamin A.)

Look at the cuisines of various nations to see what foods they typically mix in their dishes and meals while studying about nutrition. Maybe it’s not simply a question of personal preference!

5. Do you believe you have a dietary sensitivity or nutritional deficiency?

Find out what they are via a nutritional analysis or a nutrition test, and work with your doctor to address them.


To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.

Charles N. Ishiwu, Jude O. Iwouno, James E. Obiegbuna, and Tochukwu C. Ezike Heat treatment affects the amount of lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin C in tomato [Var.UC82B]. 87-92 in Journal of Food and Nutrition Science, Volume 2, No. 3, 2014.

Bioaccessibility of nutrients – getting the most out of food. The European Food Information Council published a report in 2010.

Increased plasma lycopene content following intake of tomatoes cooked in olive oil, Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, O’ Dea K. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 14, no. 2, 2005, pp. 131-6.

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Consider Level 1 certification if you want to learn more about both.

Food is one of the biggest luxuries we have. In fact, it’s a necessity. But food isn’t just something that fills our belly and keeps us alive. It’s also a powerful way to supplement our everyday nutrition and nourish our bodies.. Read more about which method of cooking does not destroy nutrients present in food and let us know what you think.

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1. Eat a variety of foods from all food groups, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein sources such as fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, beans and nuts.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the most nutrients out of my food?

The best way to get the most nutrients out of your food is by cooking it.

What are the 10 nutritional guidelines for Filipino?

A: 1. Eat a variety of foods from all food groups, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein sources such as fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, beans and nuts. 2. Limit intake of red meats (beef or pork) to no more than three times per week. 3. Choose low-fat dairy products over full-fat dairy products. 4. Limit intake of saturated fats to less than 10% of total daily calories.

How do you get all nutrients from food?

Nutrients are the substances in food that our bodies need to function. There are many different nutrients, and they can be found in a variety of foods.

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