8 Foods That Are More Nutritious Raw

Cooking some foods unlocks their nutrients, but eating certain raw foods is more nutritious. Here are eight to try raw, for maximum nutrition.

raw almonds raw nuts
Vladislav Mitic / Istock
Cooking some foods unlocks their nutrients, but eating certain raw foods is more nutritious. Here are eight to try raw, for maximum nutrition.
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raw almonds raw nuts
Vladislav Mitic / Istock
Raw Nuts Protect the Heart

Raw nuts have healthy fats that are essential to the body. Raw nuts can help lower the LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or "bad," cholesterol level in the blood. Raw nuts can reduce your risk of blood clots and can improve the healthy lining of your arteries When nuts are roasted at a temperature higher than 170 degrees, those disease-fighting fats get broken down into free radicals that do just the opposite: contribute to plaque and cardiovascular disease.

Did you know that nuts are also among the ?

Alissa Cohen is the internationally recognized author of , a raw food chef and the owner of Boston's renowned Grezzo restaurant, and a certified fitness trainer, nutritional consultant and mind-body therapist. This month, Cohen is making her expertise available nationwide with the launch of an online shop in partnership with OpenSky at .

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raw broccoli
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Raw Broccoli Fights Cancer

Eating raw broccoli, and the chewing process involved, helps to rupture the special compound that is located in the plant's cell walls, an enzyme called myrosinase, that revs up your liver's ability to detoxify carcinogens. Cooking broccoli inactivates the enzyme. People eating steamed broccoli seem to get only about a third as much of these special cancer-fighting compounds.

Enjoy raw broccoli, one of the , along with other fresh veggies with a .

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raw garlic
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Raw Garlic Protects DNA

Chewing raw garlic produces a DNA-protecting compound called allicin. One minute of cooking, though, completely inactivates this enzyme, and when you eat it cooked, you absorb little or none of the protective allicin compound.

See – it's one of the .

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raw grapefruit juice
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Raw Juice Retains Vitamins

What could be better for you than fruit or vegetable juice from the store? Raw fruit and vegetable juice! When you buy juice, it is always pasteurized. Pasteurization not only kills bacteria and preserves the juice, it also destroys many (if not most) of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes, along with their health-promoting properties. Sometimes the process adds chemicals, sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Fortunately, juice is easy to make at home, so try fresh, raw, homemade juice for a burst of nutrition.

Did you know? , and grapefruit juice has almost .

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raw salt
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Raw Salt Is Loaded with Minerals

Raw salts contain trace essential minerals essential to good health. Table salt is typically heated to high temperatures, treated with chemicals and then bleached. This kind of salt is toxic. Raw mineral salts such as Himalayan, and others are crucial for proper mineral balance.

Of course, not all salt is good. Many packaged food and . For healthy cheap eats try these .

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raw cacao nibs
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Raw Cacao (Chocolate) Is Brain Food

Raw cacao (chocolate) contains a wealth of nutrients: essential vitamins and minerals that boost the body's neurotransmitters, and phyto-chemicals that activate the mood-elevating emotion of "euphoria." No wonder chocolate's so popular! Cooked cacao, which is what you'll find in most chocolate bars and baked goods, loses much of its nutritional value. When the oils and fats within the cacao bean are heated, they actually can become toxic. And, as we know, chocolate is often highly processed with added sugars, dairy products and other ingredients that don't exactly improve nutrition. Using raw cacao and a natural sweeter, you can make your own healthy chocolate!

Here are a few companies that sell raw cacao or :
> (U.K.)

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raw chia seeds
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Raw Chia Seeds Are Nutrient-Dense

Four tablespoons of chia seeds supply as much calcium as three cups of milk, as much magnesium as 10 stalks of broccoli, as much iron as one-half cup of red kidney beans, 30% more antioxidants than blueberries, 25% more dietary fiber than flaxseed and approximately the same amount of omega-3 as a 32-ounce fillet of salmon. Instead of a typical hot breakfast cereal, try a chia breakfast pudding for a more nutritious start to your day!

Did you know? The words "made with whole grains" on food packaging don't always mean what they seem to. See these .

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raw fermented kimchi
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Fermented Kimchi Improves Digestion

Fermented foods such as kimchi help to support our intestinal flora and overall health. Cooking foods like cabbage and other vegetables and herbs, kills many of the vitamins and minerals and certainly most of the enzymes. When you ferment these vegetables, though, your body can absorb more essential nutrients (and they're easier to digest). Fermented foods provide probiotics (good bacteria) that help our bodies fight off disease, boost our immune system and aid in good health.

It's . See how at .

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