This is from Livingfoods.com:
“The first thing that is lost when you cook something is its’ water content. Our bodies are between 60% and 70% water. Vegetables and fruits are loaded with water, and it is structured water that better facilitates our biological processes. Cooking denatures the proteins in our food, rendering them harder to digest and utilize.
Cooking destroys 50 percent of the protein in our food. Between 50 and 80 percent of the vitamins and minerals are also destroyed. Pesticides break down into more toxic compounds, which are more easily assimilated into our bodies. Oxygen is lost and free radicals are produced.
Most importantly, enzymes are destroyed when food is heated above 118 degrees. Enzymes are the catalysts of every chemical reaction in our bodies. Without them, there can be no cellular division, immune system functioning, energy production nor brain activity. No vitamins or hormones can do their work without enzymes. There are two different types of enzymes in our bodies, metabolic enzymes and digestive enzymes. We produce over 100,000 different enzymes, each doing a unique task.
Interestingly, every food contains exactly the perfect mix of digestive enzymes to break it down completely. These are called food enzymes. Nature in its never-ending perfection sees that all food whether flesh, fruit or vegetable, decomposes and returns to the earth from which it came. But cooking our food above 118 degrees destroys its enzymes, leaving our bodies to generate the enzymes necessary to digest it.
There are two main problems with this enzyme destruction. First, our bodies cannot produce enzymes in the perfect mix to metabolize our food as completely as the food enzymes nature creates. This results in partially digested fats, proteins and starches that will clog up our body’s intestinal tract and arteries. The Eskimos are a remarkable example of this. Eskimo means, “one who eats raw.” While living for centuries on a diet that consisted primarily of whale or seal blubber, Eskimos developed no arterial sclerosis. They had almost no heart disease or stroke, and no high blood pressure. Established nutritional doctrine would predict a high incidence of these ailments, but even raw blubber will digest itself completely if it is not cooked and its enzymes are not destroyed. But once you heat even the finest olive oil above 118 degrees, you will not be able to digest it completely. It will clog you up.
More importantly, it has been demonstrated that our bodies produce a finite lifetime supply of enzymes. Every cooked meal we eat causes enzyme production that draws on our finite reserve. A living food meal does not cause this drain.”