27 October, 2007

No Nurse! I Said - Prick His - Oh Never Mind!

For readers of the Body Friendly Zen Cookbook, you'll already know that despite the stress the diet places on unprocessed foods, tomato paste is the best form of tomato because the boiling process releases the lycopene better than other forms of cooking. Now we know that the same is true of peanuts.


"Lloyd Walker, chair of Alabama A&M University's Department of Food and Animal Sciences who co-authored the study, said these phytochemicals have antioxidant qualities that protect cells against the risk of degenerative diseases, including cancers, diabetes and heart disease."

Apparently, boiling doesn't destroy these phytochemicals as much as roasting does. And raw peanuts don't release the chemicals as easily as cooked peanuts do.

Similarly, the tomato lycopene is released by the boiling process and becomes more available to the body than raw tomato or other forms of it.

And we shouldn't forget that teas started as a way to infuse the healing properties of herbs into water and make them more effective. There's another important lesson here - some delicate properties of teas and herbs are destroyed in anything hotter than boiling water.

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