(NaturalNews) Our health is greatly influenced by the food we eat and how we cook it. The nutrient density of food can be easily damaged by overheating our foods along with the damaging chemicals and heavy metals that leach into it from our cookware. Heavy metals from cookware alter enzymes and tastes and ultimately end up in the body. You can buy the very best organic food and inadvertently turn it into poison by cooking it wrong.
Some cookware is better than others and some is just plain toxic
Teflon cookware is probably the all-time worst of all cookware. Johns Hopkins Medical Center says the chemical PFOA, used in manufacturing Teflon, is now found in the bloodstreams of nearly everyone in the U.S. Early studies suggest that high PFOA blood levels in humans are linked with cancer, high cholesterol levels, thyroid disease and reduced fertility. Teflon surfaces break down and end up in your food and when heated to high temperatures, emit fumes which cause flu-like symptoms in humans (AKA: polymer fume fever) and can be fatal to birds. Manufacturers have to eliminate PFOA from all cooking products by the year 2015.
Aluminum cookware is one of the most common cookware to use, but can be very toxic as this heavy metal is absorbed into all food cooked in it. The aluminum released into foods during cooking ends up in your body. Excess aluminum has been associated with estrogen-driven cancers and Alzheimer's Disease.
Copper cookware is the choice of many because it conducts heat so well. Copper cookware releases copper into the food to be eaten and usually also has nickel in the coating, which is another toxic heavy metal and can be very allergenic.
Cast iron cookware is very durable but iron is constantly leaching into the food, changing the enzymes in it. Iron can reach toxic levels in the body with regular use and becomes a pro-oxidant which causes stress, oxidation and eventually disease.
Ceramic, enamel, and glass cookware are manufactured with lead. Lead gives these wares shock resistance and color uniformity. The level of lead in each product is set by the manufacturer. Never cook with anything labeled "for decoration only".
Stainless steel cookware is made from a metal alloy consisting of mostly iron and chromium along with differing percentages of molybdenum, nickel, titanium, copper and vanadium. But even stainless steel allows other metals to leach into the foods. The principal elements in stainless that have negative effects on our health are iron, chromium and nickel.
Titanium cookware seems to pose the least health risks and doesn't react with food while cooking. Part of a good cancer prevention plan is to ditch all others and buy high quality titanium cookware. Premium titanium cookware is more expensive but inferior cookware will actually cost more over time.
It's not all about the cookware
One thing we should all avoid is cooking at higher temperatures. The higher the temperatures, the more we devastate the nutrients in the food and compromise the integrity and safety of the cookware. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), are compounds created in meats and other foods cooked at high temperatures that can boost the risk of pancreatic cancer by 60 percent and increase the risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
Conversely, some antioxidants are activated by cooking. This includes lycopene in tomatoes and beta-carotene in carrots and sweet potatoes. Researchers found that you actually multiply the antioxidant power of your carrots three times by cooking them - peels and all, and then pureeing them which releases cancer-fighting compounds from the carrots.
For healthy eating, find some quality titanium cookware and learn to cook foods below 200 degrees to preserve the nutrients and receive the best value out of your food.
Begley TH, White K, Honigfort P, Twaroski ML, Neches R, Walker RA. Perfluorochemicals: potential sources of and migration from food packaging. Food Addit Contam. 2005 Oct;22(10):1023-31. Darbre PD. Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry Volume 99, Issue 9, September 2005, Pages 1912-1919.
About the author: Craig Stellpflug is a Cancer Nutrition Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.healingpathwayscancerclinic.com/ With 17 years of clinical experience working with both brain disorders and cancer, Craig has seen first-hand the devastating effects of vaccines and pharmaceuticals on the human body and has come to the conclusion that a natural lifestyle and natural remedies are the true answers to health and vibrant living. You can find his daily health blog at www.blog.realhealthtalk.com and his articles and radio show archives at www.realhealthtalk.com