Cooking for acne and optimal health.
Raw, baked, boiled, steamed, blanched, sautéed, fried, simmered, roasted, grilled, seared, poached, broiled, braised…
There’s countless different cooking methods, but which one is the best for acne and overall health?
In a nutshell,
- The less heat you can apply to the food you eat, the better
- Cooking in water is better than cooking in air
- Cooking in air is better than cooking directly on heat
Here’s a few guidelines
- Eat mostly raw
As someone interested in clearing your skin naturally you’ve most likely come across something called the raw food diet. This diet advocates 100% of the food you eat to be raw and uncooked.
A food is considered raw if it is uncooked or “prepared” below 118°F.
The health benefits many people claim raw foods to have include greater enzyme capacity, greater nutrient content, more “vibrancy,” “vital life force” and so forth.
These claims can’t really be backed up with concrete scientific validity right now, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are massive benefits to eating more raw foods.
Benefits of raw foods
Firstly, if you’re eating something raw, that means that you’re eating it in its real, whole, natural form. Typically, the closer you can get to nature with whatever you are eating, the better. For example, a whole apple is better than apple sauce (slightly processed), is better than apple juice (more processed).
Because we associate raw foods with fruits and vegetables, we will automatically be eating more fruits and vegetables when we increase our raw food intake. This increases our antioxidant load, which is a good thing considering people with acne have less antioxidants than the general population.
The second benefit to raw food is that it typically has more fiber, which is another thing that acne sufferers are severely lacking in.
Unless you have a serious digestive issue that inhibits you from eating lots of raw foods, try to make at least 50% or more of your diet raw foods.
- Cook in water (steam, boil, slow cook)
There’s some foods you wouldn’t want to eat raw. Sweet potatoes are one example. Some people do better when cooking vegetables like asparagus, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and peas. For these things, steaming and boiling will be better options than cooking in the oven or over an open flame. The reason for this is because the temperature of water reaches 212 degrees fahrenheit before it boils. You can’t make water hotter than 212 degrees, but you can make an oven hotter than 212. This is important because at high temperatures, toxic compounds can form and nutrients can be lost. Acrylamide, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming.
Some nutrients may even become more bio available with cooking due to the heat breaking down certain compounds in the food. The key is to find that sweet spot where certain nutrients are more bioavailable and the food is easier to digest because it’s cooked, but not cooked too much to completely rid the nutrients from the food and not too hot to form acrylamide or other toxins.
Making soups is probably the best way to consume the cooked food we eat because the low cooking temperature and longer cooking time of soups breaks down the food to make it easier to digest while at the same time increasing various nutrients, all without creating harmful compounds that may form at higher temperature cooking.
- Sauté or bake with lower heat
If you want more variety to your diet than simply raw foods and soups, you can still cook your food in the oven or on the stove top. If you cook your food on the stovetop, use a stainless steel or cast iron pan. Preferably, sauté your food in water. If you want to use an oil, organic coconut oil would be your best choice because it is more stable in high heat. If you cook with olive oil, use more gentle heat.