Hot Meals or Cold Meals, Which is Better for You?
Last updated on July 27th, 2020.
By Guest Author
When you’re craving a hot meal, a garden salad or deli sandwich just doesn’t quite cut the mustard. But, despite our intense cravings for hot food, many American workers still settle for a cold meal, believing it’s their only option for their lunch break. Did you know that there are actually benefits to eating hot food over cold — besides satiating your appetite?
The human body digests cold and hot meals differently. So it’s not only your appetite and mood that benefit from a steaming cup of soup. Taking in a hot meal rather than a cold one is great for your body in many ways.
Hot Foods are Easier to Digest
As mentioned, hot food is easier to digest. Why? Researchers who study how to make food break down faster have discovered that our digestive system is sensitive to different temperatures. The human digestive system works better with foods and liquids that are at warmer temperatures because it doesn’t have to work as hard to digest the food.
Cold foods shock the digestive system and make your gut work overtime in order to break down nutrients in the food. This can lead to bloating or digestive sensitivity. In hot food, however, nutrients are already partially broken down. Steaming, cooking, baking, or roasting foods kick starts the process of breaking down healthy chemicals and nutrients before they enter the body.
Plus, people tend to eat hot foods slower, which is also beneficial for the digestive system. When food enters the system slowly, there is more time to absorb nutrients.
Hot Food Tastes Better
There is some research that shows that food actually tastes better when it is warm. To explain this, studies point to a taste receptor that picks up sweet and bitter tastes. When food is warm, this receptor often sends a stronger signal to the brain. Research aside, hot food sometimes satisfies a craving that cold food cannot.
Hot Foods Offer More Nutritional Content
Because hot food makes the digestion process run smoother, nutrients from hot food are more easily absorbed. This makes more nutrients available to the body.
Still, some cooked foods actually contain more nutritional content than they do when they are raw. For example, when tomatoes are cooked, they have a higher amount of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene can help lower the risk of cancer and heart attacks. Cooking often breaks down the cell walls of plants and releases the nutrients held within, allowing them to be absorbed by the body.
But, Some Foods are Healthier Cold
Reading this, you may wonder, “Is eating cold food bad for you?” Not at all.
Although many foods experience an increase in nutritional value when they are cooked, some foods lose nutrients. Vitamins C and B, for example, are usually lost when food is cooked. There are several other nutrients and vitamins that can be depleted during the cooking process.
Many fruits and vegetables are better for you when they are cold, but that doesn’t mean you always have to snack on them fresh out of the refrigerator. Boiled carrots have higher carotenoid levels (providing protective health benefits), while raw carrots have more polyphenols (for improved digestion, brain function, blood sugar levels plus some protective benefits). It’s best to switch up how you eat your veggies to ensure you are getting the most out of your food.
An Electric Heated Lunch Box Makes Healthy Eating Easy
Even if you know all of the benefits of eating a hot meal, it can be hard to find the time to fit in a hot meal in the middle of the work day. An electric heated lunch box makes it possible to eat a hot lunch just about anywhere. Electric lunch boxes heat food directly with a built-in heating mechanism.
The electric lunch box from LunchEAZE is completely cordless and is powered by a battery pack. This makes it possible to eat a hot meal on the go. Its automatic heating timers allow you to program when you want to eat your meal with an app or on the device. The LunchEAZE begins heating food automatically. At the designated time, your food will be hot and ready to eat!
You don’t have to wonder how to make food digest faster during the work day. Simply pack your electric lunch box with a balanced meal, set your timer, and bon appétit. You’ll be able to fill your belly while staying healthy. Shop LunchEAZE lunch boxes here.