Which fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, etc. are best eaten raw, cooked or steamed?
Ok. First, fruits and vegetables which I wrote about in an article about “Cooked foods” and the answer is raw all the way around including steamed favorites like carrots and broccoli.
With grains, seeds, and nuts, same story, raw. I do home sprouting, which is taking the seed and soaking it for a certain period (2 hours up to a day depending on the seed) and then sprouting it moist in a vented jar-type environment. The list of grains and seeds that this works well with is extensive but I’ll add a link. Not only are you getting the full nutritional benefits and can easily add them into soups, salads, and so on, but sprouts contain incredible amounts of digestive enzymes which help our digestive system and our assimilation of a greater percentage of the nutrients in that meal. Concerning nuts, most times people eat roasted nuts because they are softer and easier to digest. True. Yet soaking them raw does the same thing. For example I usually “sprout” almonds. I write it like that because they don’t actually sprout, but they grow a quarter-inch white tip on the end. Then when eating you have full nutritional benefits, digestive enzymes, and ease of digestion at almost twice their original size.
Beans and legumes are the wild card in all of this. Although soaking for a day or two first will definitely reduce the gas associated with beans, I don’t know anyone who actually eats raw beans other than mung beans, adzuki beans, or chickpeas. I tried it once (Yee-uck!) but I just say soak them and crock-pot them.
I am certainly no raw foodist, but to your question about what is best or most healthy, there is no question to the power and health benefits of raw plant-based foods.