You know you should eat your vegetables - but are they better cooked or raw? Raw vegetables of all kinds are great sources of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fiber. However, the finest vegetables available are of no value to you if you cannot properly digest them - a key issue with some raw vegetables.

Eating raw cruciferous vegetables actually suppresses your thyroid's hormone production, creating fatigue, coldness in your body and a slowing of your metabolism. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabagas and turnips.

Cabbage and its cousins in the cruciferous vegetable family are nutrient-rich, but unless you cook or ferment them, they could slow down your metabolism.

So, how can you get the benefits of these great cruciferous vegetables without all the negative effects?

When eating cruciferous vegetables, it's important to cook them to avoid the thyroid-suppressing properties. But what if you are committed to a raw food diet (or you simply want to enjoy them raw)?

Body Ecology's system of health and healing has a solution for raw foodists who want to eat cabbage, kale and collards … ferment them! This gets rid of the thyroid-suppressing effect and maximizes nutrition.

Many people enjoy cooked vegetables - and now raw foodists can enjoy collards, kale, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables safely too. Actually, raw, fermented vegetables are a great way for everyone to eat raw, and they also provide an abundance of necessary plant-based enzymes that ease digestion and populate your stomach with good bacteria. The fermentation process supports the growth of these good bacteria -- and once in your body, they prevent viral and fungal infections, boost immunity and increase the nutrient value of your food.

Even better, raw, fermented vegetables are easy to make at home! It's as simple as mixing chopped veggies with any of our Body Ecology Starters and letting them ferment at room temperature for about a week.

The Body Ecology website has step-by-step instructions that explain the whole process. If you'd like more information on which fermented food starter to use, check out the article in this week's newsletter.

Once you've made your own raw, fermented vegetables, add a ½ cup serving to each meal to aid your digestion and populate your digestive tract with healthy bacteria. Additionally, the fermentation process 'pre-digests' the vegetables and makes the nutrients more easily absorbed. So if you've had trouble digesting raw vegetables in the past, try fermented vegetables!

Vegetables should be a key staple in your diet -- 80% of what you eat overall! Whether you are a raw foodist, a veggie lover or you want to get more benefits from the foods you eat, fermenting vegetables provides a delicious way to improve your health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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