When it comes to eating food, wow! Immediately a beautiful imagination of buffet keeps revolving around us, especially for those who are foodie. But we often don’t consider ourselves to know about the history of cooking, blindly we just put raw food on flame may be vegetarian or non-vegetarian which opens the arena of flavors, or another way we manage to preserve the food for later use, this process of making food is running through the ages. No doubt our tongue loves it, but gut dislikes it.
Our early human ancestors previously used to eat uncooked food as there was nothing like fire, so no knowledge of cooked food too. Accidently the fire was discovered and eventually the cooked meat and subsequently with massive developments veg. and non-veg. food with infinite varieties of different flavors has evolved and the best part we became the slave of our tongue. We started cooking food and permanently altered the course of evolution for the human microbiome. Another fact of cooking was also not known by the people that the heat exposed food tends to change the foods’ physical and chemical properties.
We are far away from facts, in reality, we are covered with bacteria internally and externally both, colonies of microorganisms are comfortably residing in our gastrointestinal tract, billions of bacteria live on our skin, and all these microbes make up the communal microbiome.
Recent studies have shown that gut bacteria is liable to affect depression risk or help with weight gain, therefore researchers are working to understand the important role played by the microbiome in human health and wellbeing.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Harvard University, in their study, found that cooked food alters the microbiome of humans as well as mice.
Peter Turnbaugh, the senior author of the study had said that their lab experimenting with it had found that different kinds of diet, maybe vegetarian or meat-based diets, impacted our microbiome. He further said that his team was surprised to discover that in spite of knowing the fact no one had studied the fundamental reason of how cooking, it altered the composition of the microbial ecosystems in our guts.
For this study, the researchers of peter’s team fed different animals a diet of cooked meat, raw sweet potatoes, cooked sweet potatoes and raw meat. There was little difference between the microbiomes of the animals given raw or cooked meat, but with the sweet potatoes, it sounded differently.
The microbiomes showed changes in their composition and gene activity, when fed on cooked sweet potatoes.
For the right evidence, the researchers fed mice raw and cooked sweet potatoes, white potatoes and beets. To confirm these findings, the researchers performed another series of experiments, in which they fed mice not just raw and cooked sweet potatoes, but also fed mice the raw potato diet and found to have the poorer bacterial diversity in the gut, as well as fewer bacteria in the gut. They also had a higher proportion of Bacteroidetes bacteria, which play a key role in the degradation of glycans, a form of sugar.
Again, it was observed that the differences in the microbiome linked to a raw diet versus cooked food were considerable.
A cooked tuber allows more calories in the small intestine than raw foods, on the other hand we can say that our cooked food have antimicrobial compounds that can damage bacteria.
The researchers analyzed the chemical changes that occurred in cooked plants to see if these were responsible for the changes in the microbiomes.
The team in their further studies also noticed that mice on the raw food diets lost weight, which seemed to suggest that the changes in the gut microbiome would be responsible. However, when the researchers had replaced gut bacteria of mice by providing them the regular chow, the latter actually gained fat.
Side by side a small study on a group of human participants was also done. The volunteers were fed either a diet of raw or cooked food for three days. Then the researchers analyzed the participants’ stool samples to find out if the diets affected the microbiomes of humans in the same way as the mice.
It was interesting to see that the impact of cooking was same in rodents as well as on humans, although, the pattern of how the microbiome was affected differed between the two species said by Turnbaugh.
They further said that a larger and longer involvement and observational studies in humans to understand the impact of longer-term dietary changes would be done by them for thorough understanding. They had published their study in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Truth is that intense heating makes the food more acidic and our body requires 80% alkaline and 20% acidic food. But, in our regular practice, we consume 20% alkaline and 80% acidic food, which is the major cause of all diseases.
“Prefer Eating More of Uncooked Food than Cooked Food”
“Cooked Food Modifies Gut Bacteria Population”