All food plans and diets move towards fruits and vegetables as this category of foods is considered to be the best for good health. It is a category which can be consumed both in the raw form as well as cooked whereas most items belonging to other categories needs to be cooked or processed in some form or the other.
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important for the human body as they provide fibre and are protective in their nature. Consuming fruits and vegetables improves the body’s immune system and protects a person from illness and disease.
Vegetables can be eaten in the raw form and can also be cooked to make other food items. The maximum benefit obtained from vegetables is when eaten in their raw (natural form) as all the nutrients are contained within. Once vegetables have been cut, they loose some of the nutrients, and on further processing (cooking), some more nutrients are lost.
In the olden days, people were healthier with fewer ailments as their diets comprised largely of raw vegetables. Thus, all efforts should be made to eat as many raw vegetables as possible. However, caution must be maintained to ensure that the vegetables have been cleaned thoroughly and are clear of infestations. In fact, while cooking, vegetables must be chopped just prior to usage as fewer nutrients are lost. It is for this reason that pre-cut vegetables should not be purchased as they have little health value (except for fibre). Whenever possible, vegetables like cucumber, tomato, onion, radish, carrot, peas, beetroot, etc., should be consumed in their raw form.
Fruit is a type of food that is meant to be consumed in its raw (natural) form. At the most, the peels of some fruits like bananas and melons need to be removed. When fruits are processed or cooked, they lose all their nutritive value as well as their natural taste.
However, as fruits tend to be seasonal, the preserved variety (in cans) is commonly used. But, in order to obtain the maximum health benefits from fruits, they must be consumed in their raw form and should be fresh (i.e., as per the season). The healthiest fruits are the seasonal fruits.