The best way to enjoy food is to cook it first, right? Well, not always. While cooking food is very important, not every food requires cooking as it is best eaten raw. That’s right, raw. Raw here means they go through very little or no cooking (or heating up).
Cooking food makes it safer to eat as it helps get rid of things that could contaminate the food. But cooking also changes the way the food is made up, and this could result in nutrient loss due to heat. Keep in mind that not every food can be eaten raw as some require heat to make them more edible and healthy.
In today’s article, we would be looking at some healthy raw foods you can enjoy in Nigeria.
Although garri has gone through some form of processing to get to what it is, it is still one food you can buy and eat as it is, although most people would prefer to eat it with soup. Garri can be enjoyed just by itself or by soaking it in water. This does not require any form of heating up.
Nuts like walnuts, almond nuts, kolanuts, and groundnuts, and more are best eaten raw. Although it is normal for people to roast these nuts before they are eaten, that may seem like a matter of choice as they are safe to consume raw.
Note: cashew nut can only be roasted before eaten, which is why it was not listed here.
3. Spinach and other dark leafy vegetables
Spinach is one of the many dark leafy vegetables that can be consumed raw or require very minimal cooking. Cooking spinach or some of these other dark leafy vegetables can lead to nutrient loss.
If you are going to use them in your cooking, make sure to add them as the last ingredient so that it does not spend a lot of time on heat.
There are many other dark leafy green vegetables in Nigeria.
4. Tomato and Pepper
Tomatoes and peppers are better enjoyed raw than cooked. Peppers are rich in many nutrients, including vitamin C, and cooking them for a long time could result in nutrient loss, not to mention the change in taste. Tomato is another vegetable that is packed with nutrients.
The best way to gain all the nutrients from tomatoes and peppers is to cook them with less heat or just eat them raw.
5. Onion and Garlic
Onion and garlic are used very much in cooking because of how they enhance the taste and aroma of the food they are used in.
Onion is loaded with antioxidants and other important nutrients, like allicin, which garlic also contains. While these nutrients might be present after cooking them, it is best to eat them raw to gain the full benefit.
6. Tiger nuts
Did you know? Tiger nuts are not actually nuts, even if they are called nuts. Tiger nuts are tubers belonging to the Cyperaceae family.
Tiger nuts are another healthy raw foods in Nigeria. They are very versatile and can be eaten raw or roasted; however, they tend to be softer and easier to chew when they have been soaked or boiled in water.
Furthermore, tiger nuts are rich in minerals, nutrients, and vitamins
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many parts of Nigeria.
Dates (dabino) are one of the healthy raw foods in Nigeria as they can be eaten fresh or dried. They are also highly nutritious and have a plethora of health benefits.
Other foods that can be eaten raw include fruits and some kinds of vegetables. It is important that you are sure of the food you are about to eat raw before you go ahead.
For example, avoid eating raw meats, fish, or eggs, as they may contain contaminants that could give you diseases.
Also, before attempting to eat anything raw, make sure you take the time to wash it properly to make it clean for eating.