Category Archives: cooking
Jains all over the world are celebrating Mahavir Jayanti today. Mahavir Jayanti marks the birth of Prince Vardhaman, who later adopted the life of an ascetic and founded the religion of Jainism in 6th century BC. India and vegetarianism has had a long historical association, and is incomplete without a mention of Jain vegetarianism. A typical Jain diet has food habits that are linked with their religious and spiritual path of not harming any animal, including minute living entity. Yes, not only do they steer clear of Non Vegetarian food, through their diet practices they also try not to consume any micro-organisms.
Following the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, they try to adhere to a specific set of rules laid down by their spiritual leaders over the years. The Jain community doesn’t consume meal after the sun sets down, to not harm those creatures and organisms that come out in the dark. The food they consume must be fresh; to consume stored food is not promoted. Some Jainism followers also follow a vegan, or a lacto-vegetarian diet, as milk and dairy products are considered as cruelty against cow or cattle.
Some Jains stay away from consuming root vegetables, or anything that is grown underground such as potatoes, onions, roots and tubers. According to Jain philosophy these vegetables are classified as ananthkay, which means one body bearing many lives. These vegetables may look like a unitary entity, but is said to contain countless organisms, or ekindriya in it. Consumption of root vegetables is only possible by uprooting or killing the plant, therefore is a form of bad karma. Mushrooms, fungus and yeasts are another form of food some Jains stay away from, as they are parasites and may contain many life forms.
But that hasn’t stopped the Jain community from carving an amazing culinary culture of their own. This Mahavir Jayanti, binge on these 5 Jain vegetarian recipes and enjoy –
1. Tamatar Kadhi
Recipe by Niru Gupta
The tangy gravy cooked with homemade tomato puree, vegetables and spices. An absolute explosion of flavours.
2. Sabudana Kheer
Recipe by Niru Gupta
Still not over the sabudana binging of navratras. The good news is you don’t have to stop. Try this all-time favourite tapioca pearls dessert flavoured with cardamom and saffron and slurp.
3.Ananas da Panna
Recipe by Chef Rajdeep Kapoor
Beat the heat with this delicious summer delight made with goodness of fresh pineapple pulp, lime juice and black salt.
4.Moong Dal Khichdi
Recipe by Niru Gupta
Craving for some simple home-made khichdi? Try this traditional blend of split green grams and rice, with oodles of ghee, heeng and cumin seeds. Can’t go wrong with this classic.
5. Ghorikai Uppakari
Recipe by Kishore D Reddy
Beans tossed with shredded coconut and chillies, guar ki phalli is a traditional dish popular across India. A pure veggie delight.
Olive oil is being touted as new superfood because of type of health fat it contains called monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) that are known to be really good for your heart. But there’s a growing debate about the kind of olive oil you should be using. There are several types available such as refined olive oil, pomace olive oil, virgin olive oil and of course the extra virgin olive oil. All olive oils are not created equal. These can be differentiated from each other on the basis of their nutritional value, taste and method of processing. Here, we’d like to specifically talk about the extra virgin sort which is considered to be top quality.
Extra-virgin olive oil is a type of oil that is extracted by simply crushing the olives. In other cases, the oil may be subjected to processing with the use of chemicals. You can differentiate between the two just by looking at them. Extra-virgin olive oil has a darker color, while the regular olive oil is lighter and brighter. So, what makes extra-virgin olive oil healthier than the regular one? It has fewer chemicals and free radicals and is higher in antioxidants than olive oil.
A group of researchers from the University of Chile have given us another reason to prefer extra virgin olive oil. According to their study, published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, a compound commonly found in extra-virgin olive oil can significantly reduce the symptoms of insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – which are the negative effects of consuming a high-fat diet regularly. This compound has been identified as Hydroxytyrosol – a polyphenol which is known to have amazing antioxidant properties and may play an important role in making it healthy.
The study was conducted on mice that were fed a high-fat diet. The team fed four groups of 12-14 mice on either a high-fat diet (60 per cent fat) or a control diet (10 per cent fat), with or without supplementation of 5 mg hydroxytyrosol per kg body weight, administered orally, for a 12 week period.
After the stipulated period, it was seen that adding a relatively low dose of hydroxytyrosol to the diet was able to reverse oxidative stress which is linked to fatty liver disease. It was able to reduce liver enzymes that are linked to an imbalance in the fatty acid composition of the liver, brain and heart as well as increase their activity. Moreover, hydroxytyrosol also lowered the increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol.
Extra-virgin olive oil is unrefined and the highest quality of olive oil that you can buy. There are many specific standards that the oil needs to meet for it to be labelled as ‘extra-virgin’. Therefore, it is higher priced than the others.
It’s a shame that buttermilk doesn’t get much attention in most other culinary traditions. However, we in India, have devised innumerable ways to make this cooling beverage a dedicated part of our diet. One of the most loved summer drinks of India, buttermilk is an outcome of the separation of butter from milk. It is extremely nutritious, light on the stomach and palate appeasing. While many like savouring a tall glass of chaas on a hot summer afternoon, others don’t budge from experimenting and adding a dash ofbuttermilk into a range of curries and other delicacies. It is easy to use and so versatile, and its cooling properties are not only good for you from within, you can also try applying it externally to benefit from its healing properties.
Buttermilk for Skin
1. Buttermilk is excellent as a bleaching agent.
2. It is enriched with lactic acid, ideal for solving a host of skin-related issues.
3. It can help solve skin woes like discolouration, spots, blemishes, etc.
4. It can also help lighten age spots and tighten skin.
5. It helps check sun damage, tanning and sunburn.
6. It is great way to cleanse skin and make it softer.
7. Mix it with a range of ingredients to exfoliate your skin.
How to Use Buttermilk for Skin Care?
Buttermilk can be teamed with a range of ingredients to benefit various skin types. You can mix it with masoor dal, besan, rose water, fuller’s earth (multani mitti), orange peel powder, bananas, etc. A combination of dry orange peel powder and buttermilk works magic on those stubborn marks and blemishes. Mix it with mashed papaya or tomatoes, apply on your skin, wash off when dry – this is an excellent way to reduce sunburn and sun damage.
“Buttermilk has curd as the base which has cleaning enzymes. It helps cleanse and nourish the skin, especially combination skin types. Those suffering from sunburn and tanning are the ones to benefit the most from buttermilk,” says Suparna Trikha, a well-renowned beauty expert.
Mix buttermilk with haldi, multani mitti and crushed walnut powder. Apply, scrub and wash it off with normal water. Use this as a face wash for summers. This is ideal for oily to combination to normal skin. Those with dry skin can try teaming buttermilk with a pinch of haldi and sandalwood powder and use it as a daily face wash,” says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj.
Buttermilk for Hair
1. Buttermilk can bring a significant change in the texture of your hair.
2. It can help cleanse your scalp leaving it feeling clean and fresh.
3. Adding buttermilk to your regular haircare regime will help fight dandruff and dryness.
4. It can help fortify your hair.
5. The protein in buttermilk will help nourish your hair and replenish all essential nutrients.
How to Use Buttermilk for Hair Care
You can add buttermilk with a range of ingredients to make hair masks and packs. Mix a few tablespoons of buttermilk with an egg, few tablespoons of olive oil, a mashed banana and two tablespoons of raw honey. Blend well, apply on your hair, and cover with a shower cap. Leave for at least 20 minutes and wash off with an herbal shampoo.
You can also apply buttermilk directly on your scalp as well as in combination with lemon juice. Massage onto your scalp, leave for 15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. This will help get rid of itchy scalp as well as dandruff. You can also use buttermilk along with white vinegar and lemon juice to treat dandruff.
“Buttermilk contains a type of protein that is easily absorbed when applied topically on the skin. It therefore serves as an excellent agent to be included in your beauty regime,” says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, a leading Delhi-based dermatologist and beauty expert.
Buttermilk is an all-rounder in all sense. It is a holistic ingredient that can benefit you from inside-out. It is great for digestion and helps check indigestion and gastric issues. It is low in fat and high on energy, and is an ideal energy drink for those who are trying to lose weight.
Prior research studies have implicated overcooking meats, especially red meat, due to the formation of carbon-based amines that greatly increase the risk of digestive cancers over many years of consumption. These studies have suggested eating meats that have been stewed or roasted in favor of char grilled or well done to avoid the charred ‘bark’ that forms as a result of barbequing or grilling over open flames.
A research team publishing in the journalCarcinogenesis from the University of Southern California and Cancer Prevention Institute of California found that cooking red meats at high temperatures, especially pan-fried red meats, may increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer by as much as 40 percent. This new study provides startling new evidence on how red meat is cooked not only increases digestive cancer incidence, but may also increase the risk for prostate cancer.
Consuming grilled, well done and barbecued meat produces cancer causing heterocyclic amines
Researchers gathered data from nearly 2,000 individuals participating in the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study. Each participant completed a comprehensive questionnaire that evaluated the amount and type of meat intake, including poultry and processed red meat. Additional information gathered included the cooking method: pan-frying, oven-broiling or grilling. Over the course of the study, more than 1,000 of the men included in the study were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
The lead study author, Dr. Mariana Stern noted “We found that men who ate more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 30 percent… in addition, men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked at high temperatures were 40 percent more likely to have advanced prostate cancer.” The scientists found that among red meats, the consumption of hamburger meat, but not steak, was linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. They speculate that the findings are a result of different levels of carcinogen accumulation found in hamburgers, as they attain higher internal and external temperatures faster than steak.
Cooking method is a significant factor in determining the risk of developing many different forms of cancer, due to the formation of the DNA-damaging carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). During the cooking of red meat and poultry, HCAs are formed when sugars and amino acids are cooked at higher temperatures for longer periods of time. It is important to note that this does not vilify the consumption of free-range, grass-fed red meat in moderate portions. Avoid well done, barbequed or grilled cuts of any meat (red meat, chicken, pork or fish) to significantly lower risk of prostate and digestive cancers.
First, let me state that I don’t walk around with aluminum foil wrapped around my head in an effort to shield my thoughts from the aliens. And I’m not trying to spread fear or perpetuate a hoax. What I want to do here is present scientific facts explaining exactly why cooking in the microwave is worse than cooking over the traditional cave-man fire, or your GE stove at home.
I was instantly skeptical the first time I heard that microwaving your food was bad. I read about a study that measured nutrients in cooked broccoli , comparing it cooked on the stove vs. in the microwave oven. I figured there was something biased about the study, like only cooking on high. Or maybe they were using the same cook time for both the stove and the microwave oven. Or maybe the microwave oven was heating the food hotter than the stove. I was in disbelief. After all, a microwave oven shortens cooking times, and that’s good, right?
I thought that all a microwave oven did was heat the food by moving the molecules faster. I was ignoring one very important characteristic of radio waves. Eventually, I put two and two together and realized something important.
But first, I need to explain how a microwave oven works. A microwave oven creates radio waves at a frequency of about 2.45 GHz [2, 3]. All radio waves are electromagnetic radiation.
When a polar molecule is placed in an electric field, it lines up with that field. It is similar to how a compass needle lines up with a magnetic field. Depending on the strength of the electric field, it will even stretch the polar molecule. But it will spring back as soon as the electric field is removed. So, the way a microwave works is, the rapidly oscillating electric field causes the polar molecules to move back and forth, increasing their kinetic energy (or heat). When matter is heated, the atoms and molecules start to vibrate faster. So far, it sounds like the heat from microwaves is no different than the stove. But there is one major difference. Microwaves have a strong electric field.
Electromagnetic radiation is a self-propagating wave composed of two components: an electric field, and a magnetic field. The two fields expand and collapse as they propagate through space. As the electric field collapses, it produces an expanding magnetic field. Conversely, as the magnetic field collapses, it produces an expanding electric field . This is a simple explanation, and there are more details involved.
If the electric field is strong enough, not only will it stretch the molecule, it can also separate the charges enough so that an atom loses an electron. This is ionizing. Or it can separate a molecule. This is similar to electrolysis.
When electricity flows in a conductor, free electrons drift easily in the direction of the electric field. In a non-conductive material, the electrons are tightly bound to the atoms. If the electric field is strong enough, electricity will flow. The non-conductive material often gets destroyed when the electric field is strong enough to ionize the atoms and force conduction, which creates a plasma such as a spark.
A plasma is made of ionized atoms or molecules. A plasma can be formed in a gas, a solid, or even a liquid, but not in a pure vacuum. A plasma being formed in a solid is a foreign concept to some, but familiar to semiconductor physicists. Once the plasma is formed, the resistance drops very low and it conducts electricity easily. This is why arc-welders don’t need to use megawatt power supplies. The plasma in the arc has a low resistance.
The electrical resistance of foods can range from low to very high. Many foods will conduct some electricity when placed in an electric field. The electric field in the microwave ovencauses electric currents to flow in the food. This is similar to what happens when an antenna picks up current from a radio wave.
Electrical current can also rearrange atoms. For example, in microchips, the wires have to be big enough or the force of the electrons actually can move enough metal so the wire distorts until it breaks .
If electric current can rearrange metal, it can also rearrange the atoms in your food, changing the molecular structure. This happens either by ionization, or by momentum transfer from the electron to the atom. This is one reason why nutrients can be destroyed more easily in a microwave oven than on the stove. Even though microwaves are classified as non-ionizing radiation, at sufficient power levels, they can cause ionization such as a plasma [6, 7, 8].
Despite the slang term ‘nuke’, microwaves are not nuclear radiation. Nuclear radiation consists of high speed alpha particles (helium nucleus), beta particles (high velocity electrons), neutrinos, gamma rays (extremely high energy photons), or high speed neutrons . Nuclear radiation is classified as ionizing radiation  because it will ionize matter at any level of radiation. Every radioactive particle has the potential to ionize when it interacts with matter.
Ionizing, or simply displacing a single electron sounds harmless enough, but this is enough energy to destroy biological molecules. This is what kills every living organism that goes through the irradiation  process, including the food. Cold pasteurization (a nice name for irradiation) really is nuking your food.
There is a tendency for most microwave users to cook everything on high power, except when defrosting. High is the default setting. The maximum power is also a major selling point for a microwave oven. The higher the power, the stronger the electric field, and the more damaging it is to nutrients. So, the lower the power, the safer. But only some microwave ovens are capable of true low power cooking. The microwave ovens equipped with inverter magnetrons actually reduce the power instead of just cycling it between high and off.
I decided to try microwaving some audio CDs to prove that the power level had an effect on the amount of damage done while cooking to the same temperature. Although it would be an honorable sacrifice in the name of science, rather than use my wife’s Barry Manilow collection, I thought it would be more prudent to burn some songs onto identical CDs and experiment on those instead.
I set my inverter-magnetron microwave to cook at 30% power for 3 1/2 minutes. I placed the CD in a plastic bowl and added 1 cup of water at 74°F. After cooking, the temperature was 158°F. I dried off the CD and stuck it in my CD player. It still played. All 16 songs were still ok. I then placed a second, identical CD in the bowl and again added 1 cup of water. I cooked it for one minute on high power. It went from 73°F to 162°F, so it got approximately the same amount of heat. But the CD was visibly very damaged. The CD player obviously couldn’t even read it.
Although this was a crude experiment, it illustrates the fact that cooking on high power causes more damage than cooking on low power. So, the higher the power, the more damage it causes, even if the final temperature is the same.
It is a well known fact that raw food is more nutritious than cooked. Cooking food destroys nutrients, whether it’s on a stove, or in the microwave oven. But microwaving food on high power can be more destructive than cooking on the stove. So if you use a microwave, use one with an inverter magnetron, and cook on low power. Cooking on true low power (not intermittent high) will greatly reduce the amount of damage done to the food.
Eating as little as three small servings of raw cruciferous vegetables per month, such as broccoli and cabbage, has been found to decrease the risk of developing bladder cancer by an astonishing 40 percent. This was discovered by researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. The study is only one of several that have recently added to the evidence that raw fruits and vegetables dramatically lower cancer risk.
In this study, researchers conducted a survey on the dietary habits of 1,100 people, 275 of whom had bladder cancer. They found that among both smokers and non-smokers, those who ate three or more servings of raw cruciferous vegetables each month had a 40 percent lower risk of developing bladder cancer. Compared with smokers who did not eat that amount, non-smokers who ate three or more servings of raw cruciferous vegetables per month had a 73 percent lower chance of developing bladder cancer.
Keep in mind that this research only involved three small servings a month! That’s a ridiculously small amount of vegetable matter, and yet it had a profound anti-cancer effect.
Given that these cruciferous anti-cancer nutrients only stay in the body for about twelve hours, these study subjects only experienced a total of about 36 hours with these nutrients (out of a total of 720 hours in a typical month). In other words, they only had these anti-cancer nutrients in their bodies five percent of the time and yet, astonishingly, their bladder cancer rates plummeted by 40 percent!
Also remarkably, the researchers did not find a protective benefit from eating the same quantity of cooked cruciferous vegetables. This indicates that the anti-cancer properties of cruciferous vegetables are destroyed by cooking.
This is exactly what the leaders of the raw foods movement have been saying for years: Dr. Gabriel Cousens (www.TreeofLife.nu), David Wolfe (www.SunFood.com), the Boutenko family (www.RawFamily.com), David Rain (www.JuiceFeasting.com), Nomi Shannon (www.RawGourmet.com), Angela Stokes (www.RawReform.com), Brian Clement (www.hippocratesinst.com), Max Gerson (www.Gerson.org) and many others.
Keep in mind, too, that conventional medicine pill pushers have derided the raw foods movement for years, claiming raw foods have absolutely no health effects whatsoever on the human body. That outmoded view, of course, is considered hopelessly ancient by all but the most out-of-touch doctors and skeptics. What we’re finding today is not only that raw foods are good medicine, but in fact raw foods are the BEST medicine for virtually all the big diseases now devastating Western civilization.
The findings of the Roswell Park study were presented at a meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Philadelphia.
Why raw vegetables not only prevent cancer, but REVERSE cancer
Cruciferous vegetables, also known as vegetables in the mustard or cabbage family, are some of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world, accounting for 10 of the most popular vegetable foods. The family includes not only cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, but also arugula, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, daikon, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rape (canola), rapini, rutabaga, tatsoi, turnip, wasabi and watercress.
These vegetables are known to be high in important nutrients such as vitamin C and selenium, and they also contain hundreds of plant compounds that are known to fight cancer. One of these groups, isothiocyanates, has gained enormous attention over the last few years as an anti-cancer “medicine” provided by foods.
There have been 55 key epidemiological studies conducted on the relationship between cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund. Sixty-nine percent of those studies show a positive correlation between cruciferous vegetable intake and lower cancer risk. Interestingly, few of these studies tracked raw vegetable intake vs. cooked intake, and there is little doubt that the 31 percent of the studies showing no cancer risk decrease were likely tracking the intake of cooked vegetables. (Modern nutritional researchers remain ignorant about living foods vs. cooked foods, and they group them all together, oblivious to the fact that cooked foods lack the natural medicine of raw foods…)
Isothiocyanates inhibit both cancer and tumor development by directly blocking the carcinogenic action of free radicals. In other words, they prevent free radicals from attacking healthy cells and turning them cancerous. One specific variety, phenethyl isothiocyanate, has even been shown to induce cell death in certain cancer lines, including those that are resistant to chemotherapy drugs. (Oncologists remain indignant, however, insisting that cancer patients should never use food to treat cancer… that’s why they also ran Max Gerson out of the country…)
Heat and irradiation destroys the medicine in foods – just what the FDA wants!
These plant-based medicines, however, are delicate molecules that are easily destroyed by heat. Cooking these foods obliterates the medicine they contain. So does food irradiation, by the way: Microwaving broccoli destroys up to 98% of its phytonutrients, including its anti-cancer nutrients.
The FDA, curiously, wants to pass regulations that would secretly irradiate the national food supply without any requirement whatsoever that such treatment be mentioned on the label of irradiated foods. My recent article, “FDA Leaps from Tomatoes to Peppers in Desperate, Fumbling Fiasco of Failed Food Safety over Salmonella” explains how the FDA is exploiting food safety scares as a way to generate a fear-based public reaction that will ultimately result in a mass irradiation of the entire food supply.
Why is that an important goal for the FDA? Because fresh produce is just about the only thing keeping many Americans off pharmaceuticals and out of the hospital. Take away the natural medicine found in fresh produce, and you create a windfall of sickness and disease that doubles or triples the profits of the drug companies. Food irradiation is the FDA’s devious plan to sicken the U.S. population and accomplish this financial goal for influential drug companies.
Fortunately for Big Pharma’s sick profits, many Americans cook their vegetables right now, destroying their natural medicines and keeping those consumers in a state of chronic degenerative disease. “Cooking can reduce 60 to 90 percent of isothiocyanates,” said Li Tang, a lead researcher of the study mentioned above.
Levels of the beneficial, cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane in broccoli are reduced by 90 percent when the vegetable is cooked, according to a study conducted by researchers from TNO Quality of Life in the Netherlands, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
“Consumption of raw broccoli resulted in faster absorption, higher bioavailability, and higher peak plasma amounts of sulforaphane, compared to cooked broccoli,” the researchers wrote.
Eight male participants were fed 200 grams of crushed raw or crushed cooked broccoli as part of a warm meal; researchers then measured the men’s blood and urine levels of sulforaphane. Based on these measurements, the researchers calculated that while the sulforaphane in raw broccoli had a bioavailability of 37 percent, this dropped to only 3.4 percent when the vegetable was cooked.
Furthermore, it took longer for the sulforaphane from cooked broccoli to be absorbed by the body. Optimal levels of sulforaphane were observed in the blood and urine of participants 1.6 hours after eating raw broccoli, but these levels were not reached among consumers of cooked broccoli for six hours.
The cruciferous vegetables, also known as Brassicaceae, include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, daikon, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rape (canola), rapini, rutabaga , tatsoi, turnip, wasabi and watercress. Numerous studies have linked higher intake of these vegetables to lower rates of cancer and other health problems, particularly when the vegetables are consumed raw.
One of the plant compounds identified as partially responsible for this protective effect issulforaphane, the main member of the isothiocyanate family that is found in broccoli. All cruciferous vegetables contain plant compounds known as glucosinolates, which are metabolized by the body into cancer-fighting isothiocyanates.
Studies have suggested that sulforaphane may help activate genes that produce antioxidants to clear dangerous free radicals from the body. This effect is believed to be partially responsible for the observed lower rates in breast, bladder, cervix, colon, endometrium, liver and lung cancers among those who eat large quantities of cruciferous vegetables. It is also believed to help protect the immune and other bodily systems from age-related decline.
Sulforaphane is also believed to reduce inflammation, which can transform precancerous cells into tumors and has also been linked other chronic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. At least one study has suggested that the chemical can even prevent the blood vessels of diabetics against the damage caused by high blood sugar.
The current study is not the first to suggest that most of broccoli’s health benefits are destroyed by cooking. Recent research from the International Agency for Cancer Research found lower cancer rates among those who consumed at least three servings of raw cruciferous vegetables per month. This mirrors the results of an earlier study by researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., who found a 40 percent lower risk of bladder cancer among those who ate that many raw cruciferous vegetables.
There was no protective effect observed, however, among those who ate cooked vegetables.
The researchers in the current study noted that other forms of processing besides cooking might also lead to the degradation of sulforaphane or its chemical precursors.
“The sulforaphane content of raw broccoli was lower than the glucoraphanin content of cooked broccoli, 9.92 and 61.4 micromoles, respectively,” the researchers noted. “It seems that the conversion from glucosinolate to isothiocyanate was incomplete or that another reaction occurred.”
Carrots may contain 25 percent more cancer-fighting power when they are cooked whole and then chopped, rather than being chopped up before cooking, according to a study conducted by researchers from Newcastle University.
Carrots are known to contain a number of important nutrients, including fiber, beta-carotene and other vitamins. Previous studies have also shown that they contain high levels of a chemical known as falcarinol, which has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of tumor developments in rats. As with many nutrients, however, the falcarinol content of carrots appears to decrease with cooking.
In the current study, researchers compared the falcarinol content of carrots that were cut up and then boiled with carrots that were boiled and then cut up. They found that the carrots that have been cooked whole contained 25 percent higher levels of falcarinol.
The researchers then had nearly 100 participants perform taste test on the two batches of carrots. Nearly 80 percent preferred to taste of the carrots had been cooked whole.
Researchers believe that like falcarinol, the naturally occurring sugars in carrots pass more readily through cell membranes that have been weakened by heat. Both the anti-cancer chemical and the sugars fare better in the whole carrots because there is less surface area available through which molecules can exit the vegetable.
“The great thing about this is it’s a simple way for people to increase their uptake of a compound we know is good for you,” said researcher Kirsten Brandt. “All you need is a bigger saucepan.”
Nutritionist Carrie Ruxton greeted the study as beneficial, even while noting that carrots are probably healthiest when eaten raw.
“This is good news as boiling them whole appears to help them keep more of the nutrients,” she said. “This could apply to other vegetables, such as parsnips which are from the same family and have a roughly similar size and texture.”
Many love fried, baked, and barbecued foods. But there may be a less tasty side to these culinary delights: high temperature cooking methods may produce large amounts of cancer-producing compounds, aka carcinogens.
A Swedish report found that when starchy foods such as flour and potatoes are baked or fried at high temperatures, they produce the carcinogenic (i.e. cancer causing) chemical acrylamide 1. Prolonged exposure to acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and may do the same in humans 1.
The generation of carcinogens from frying is not limited to only starchy foods. During the process of frying protein-rich foods, such as meat and fish, various kinds of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are produced, particularly when cooking temperature is very high (above 400oF )2. Heterocyclic amines have been shown to cause malignant tumors in the colon and breast of mice and rats, and they are possible or probable carcinogens for humans 2.
Temperature is the most important factor in the formation of HCAs3. Frying, broiling, and barbecuing produce the largest amounts of HCAs because the meats are cooked at very high temperatures. The higher the temperature, the higher the number of carcinogenic compounds produced. One study conducted by researchers showed a threefold increase in the content of HCAs when the cooking temperature was increased from 200 degrees to 250 degrees C (392 degrees to 482 degrees F) 3. A typical gas grill easily reaches 500oF. Such extreme temperatures produce high levels of carcinogens.
Furthermore, barbecues have long been known to be dangerous because of the tendency of flames and smoke to blacken and burn the meat and especially the fat. The amount of fat on the meat compounds the carcinogenic potential of the grilled meat. When the fat from the grill drips onto the open fire, the smoke, which is another source of carcinogens known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), carries the dangerous compounds back to the food.
How do these carcinogenic compounds released from cooking foods in high temperature promote cancer? The answer is oxidation. Acrylamides, HCAs, and PCAs are all oxidants. Oxidants, or compounds that participate in the process of oxidation, disrupt the stability of cell membranes and DNA 5; accumulated damage to the DNA is a precursor to cancer 6.
Turning down the cooking temperature is a simple way to help prevent cancer. In order to minimize the number of carcinogens released from cooking, reduce cooking temperature to 350oF and below 7. Steaming, poaching, and cooking in a crock pot are some examples of cooking with low heat. When barbecuing, try to use and consume leaner cuts of meats. If consuming foods that are cooked with high temperature methods, remember to consume plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables since they are great sources of antioxidants, or take antioxidant supplements. Antioxidants will counteract the damage done by the dangerous oxidants and help keep your body healthy and cancer-free.
The fact that modern mainstream medicine can`t fathom a connection with microwaved foods to cancer is simple: Orthodox medicine thinks nutrition and diet have nothing to do with disease. It`s focused on germs and genes. Their intervention is based on man made drugs or surgical procedures. Check out hospital food as a partial confirmation of this philosophy.
Mainstream MDs may agree that direct contact with microwave radiation causes health problems. But they can`t make the cancer causing connection to the food from microwave ovens. Hans Hertel, the heroic Swiss researcher featured in this author`s Natural News article linking cancer to microwave cooking, clears the scientific fog formed by medical science`s half-witted declarations.
Normally cooked food is heated from the outside in. This is the normal function of thermal dynamics: heat transfers to cold. Although raw food advocates will rightfully point out the heat destroying nutrients, especially enzymes, normal cooking doesn`t create nearly as much damage as microwave cooking.
You probably know that microwave radiation heats from the inside out. How is this accomplished?
Hertel explains, “Technically produced microwaves are based on the principle of alternating current. Atoms, molecules and cells hit by this hard electromagnetic radiation are forced to reverse polarity 1 to 100 billion times a second.”
“There are no atoms, molecules or cells of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of milliwatts.
(…) This is how microwave cooking heat is generated – friction from this violence in water molecules. Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed (called structural isomerism) and thus become impaired in quality.”
So it`s the water molecules in foods that are directly agitated first to produce frictional heat. Journalist Tom Valentine played devil`s advocate by posing this question: “What about microwaves from the sun? Are they harmful?”
Again, it`s the AC current propelling microwave ovens that create an extremely rapid polar shift of the subjected water molecules. Hertel went on to explain that the sun`s microwaves are based on a pulsating direct current. This type of microwave radiation doesn`t shear molecules because there is no rapid oscillation of polarity.
And There`s More
Besides these thermal modifications, there is direct damage to cell walls and genes from microwaves. Gene altering technology, which includes the biotech food industry, alters genes by weakening them with microwaves. Hertel explained further, “… the cells are actually broken, thereby neutralizing the electrical potentials – the very life of the cells – between the outer and inner sides of the cell membranes.”
Strange and unknown compounds are created by microwave energy`s penetration into organic matter. They are called radiolytic compounds. Many scientists argue that these are created from normal cooking as well. However, Hertel`s research has indicated that far more radiolytic compounds are created by microwave cooking.
Hertel concludes that the food damaged from microwaving modifies the cellular activity in the human consumers of that food. One`s cells are forced by the damaged cells and radiolytic compounds to adapt into an emergency mode of energy production. The human cells are forced from normal cellular oxidation into the anaerobic energy production of glucose fermentation.