Last Updated on September 14, 2020
How do canned foods compare to fresh and raw foods when it comes to gut health?
There’s a lot of debate that’s been going on for many years about canned foods. I’ve just had a look at about a half a dozen websites that say these are the best canned foods to eat. These websites recommend canned tomatoes, pumpkin, and artichokes. But my question is, why would you want canned pumpkin when you can get one that’s been growing in the ground?
Growing, harvesting, processing, and consuming food is an entirely different experience than going to a supermarket to buy a can of food for supper. When food is grown in soil, it has bacteria, microbes, and other organic life included. The plant is fresh and alive.
People have been eating canned food since the mid-1800s. Canning involves heating off up to a very high temperature and under high pressure. In my opinion, that’s not the right way to process most foods.
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An exception might be anchovies or sardines, but I definitely don’t recommend having a pantry stocked with canned fruits and vegetables. Canned food is not a good substitute for fresh. It’s no substitute at all.
You’ll miss out on water-soluble vitamins when you eat canned foods. The B vitamins and vitamin C get trashed during the canning process. Even fat-soluble vitamins are partially destroyed when foods are canned.
The other problem with canned foods is that they are often full of syrup, sugar, and salt.
Your best bet is to buy organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have to buy conventionally-grown produce, at least buy the type you can wash. You want to avoid heavily sprayed food.
I don’t recommend canned foods for gut health. I have had patients over the years who primarily eat canned vegetables, and their digestion didn’t compare to those patients who ate fresh produce.