- Food and Cooking
5 Good Reasons To Eat More Raw Foods
Raw Food For Health
Raw food can be defined as food that has not been cooked in any way, heated above 116 degrees F, or fragmented. Eating a diet of mostly raw foods, those foods that are unprocessed and uncooked such as a broad array of organic, raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, seaweed, grains and legumes has numerous benefits and is becoming a more common way to eat. While most raw foods are vegan in nature, some people also include raw fish and meats into the raw food diet.
It is believed that heating food destroys enzymes that assist in the digestion and absorption of food and is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and 'life force' of the food. Cooking food also produces mutated enzymes that are toxins and cause our immune system to work much harder and become weaker, making us easier prey for disease and cancer. During the cooking process, vitamins are destroyed, proteins are structurally spoilt, and minerals are converted from their organic and absorbable state to a state whereby they are not easily assimilated by the body. Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, also get leached out of foods.
Here are just a few reasons to eat more raw:Photo from http://www.stevepavlina.com and excellent blog which chronicles a 30 day raw diet followed by the author. A must read if you are thinking of going more raw.
Eat as much as you want and chew, chew, chew
Raw Foods And Chewing
Cooked vegetable sand fruits are usually peeled and easy to chew. But in the process of peeling and heating, fruits and vegetables are rid of their vitamins, minerals and fiber. Eating fruits and vegetables with their skin on and in raw form means more chewing. Chewing has the advantage of mixing the digestive juices in your mouth (saliva) with the food. This lubricates the food and allows for less stress on the esophagus and a reduction of strain on the stomach.
By thoroughly chewing your food, you are more likely to not eat as much. By eating slower, your brain can tell you that you are full sooner causing you to eat less. However, because you are eating mostly fruits and vegetables, go ahead and eat as much as you want, whenever you want and you will still maintain a healthy weight. No other kind of diet can claim that!
Read More About Raw Foods and Get Some Great Recipe Ideas Here
Cellulose (fiber) and enzymes are preserved in raw foods
Raw Foods, Enzymes and Fiber
Cellulose, the structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants is an insoluble fiber that speeds up the elimination of waste, absorbs toxins, softens the stool and improves bowel disorders. We all know we need lots of fiber in our diet in order to maintain a healthy weight and to reduce bowl disorders, forms of cancer and other harmful diseases. Eating a raw diet preserves naturally occurring fibers from plant foods. When exposed to high temperatures during cooking, cellulose and other plant fibers are destroyed.
As mentioned earlier, enzymes are important proteins that are destroyed by any form of heating. Enzymes function as catalysis during chemical reactions that take place during digestion. Enzymes cease function at temperatures above 55 degrees C. After that, no food can be absorbed by the body. The body does produce enzymes, but the best source is fresh food which is rich in many different kinds of natural enzymes.
Raw foods promote better health and weight loss
vitamins, minerals, fats, pH
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. Raw foods contain fewer trans and saturated fats than the typical western diet and consuming less trans and saturated fats decreases the risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and obesity.
Raw foods are also low in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and health-promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals. These properties also help prevent cancer, heart disease and obesity.
Alkaline foods have been shown to balance the acidic pH of the body. The once mostly balanced pH of the body has become more acidic over time due to consumption of processed refined white carbohydrates, sugars, coffee and meat. These acid forming foods all contribute to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They also create an inflammation response in the body causing premature aging. Raw foods are mostly alkaline, thus helping to stabilize the pH of the body for overall better functioning, decrease rick of many diseases and weight loss. All vegetables and herbs are alkalizing and fruits are neutral. Nuts, seeds and sprouts are also alkaline.
Dr. Lenka J. Zajic author of "An Investigation of Over 500 People Who Have Eaten a Raw Food Diet for Over 2 Years" lists hundreds of medical conditions ranging from sleep issues to diabetes to arthritis, improved vision, better circulation, and mental clarity all improved by a raw food diet.
(For some excellent green smoothie recipes like the one shown in this photo, see this informative site: How To Get Your Toddler To Eat Vegetables)
photo source: http://chaoticpeace.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/green-smoothie.jpg
Juicing fruits and vegetables for delicious green smoothings and refreshing fruit shakes is a critical component of teh raw food diet. A study and reliable juicer such as the Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain, now on sale is recommended.
This reasonably priced juicer features a stabilizing dual knife assembly, which centers fruits or vegetable over the cutter and filter, minces them into minute particles, and forces them against the stainless-steel micro-mesh filter, all of which increases yield by 30 percent and produces results 10 times faster than other juice extractors. The filter and cutter system are so powerful that pineapple can be juiced with the rind on.
Raw foods promote better skin and a more youthful appearance
Raw Foods and Vibrant Skin
Healthy vibrant skin is yours for the taking with a diet of fresh raw foods. The reason is simple, raw foods translate to overall better health and this improves the condition of the skin. Since raw foods contain large amounts of antioxidants these protect the skin against free radical damage. In addition, they offer great protection against sunburn. Those who have made the transition to more raw foods have experienced markedly improved complexion and often comment that their skin looks radiant.
Raw foods contain a lot more moisture than cooked foods, as the cooking process removes so much essential moisture. Moisture is essential to healthy skin.
Having an efficient blender which allows you to chop nuts, create fresh dips and sauces and make smoothies is critical for success on the raw food diet.
Raw foods will leave you energized and feeling GREAT
Raw Foods ENERGIZE!
One of the most profound effects of switching to a raw food diet is the energy and mental clarity it gives. People who have gone raw or mostly raw report clearer thinking, a calmer feeling mind, a complete lack of 'mind fog' and an overall feeling of joy and euphoria. Many report this state of euphoria is the most incredible high you could possibly imagine.Feelings of anger and frustration diminish and feeling of confidence and well being take over.
Delicious Raw Rainbow Cole Slaw Recipe
This recipe comes from The healthy eating site,a wonderful site with vegetarian, vegan and raw recipes & information to help you eat healthier.
1/2 small red cabbage
1 large carrot
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts or almonds
fresh herbs (such as coriander, parsley, mint)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or hemp seed oil
1 teas umeboshi vinegar
3 teas apple cider vinegar, or kombucha vinegar
1 teas rapadura sugar or agave nectar (optional)
Himalayan or celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Grate the carrot and finely slice the cabbage. Chop the fresh herbs and toss with the cabbage and carrot.
2. Add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and toss gently until the vegetables are evenly coated.
3. Add seeds and nuts and serve.
A shift to a diet of mostly raw foods can be difficult to make and can also cause the body to detoxify, possibly causing headaches, nausea and cravings for several days, so keep that in mind if you plan to shift to a more raw diet. You don't have to go 100% raw, but the basic rule is that the more raw vegan foods you eat, the healthier you will become and the younger you will look and feel. If you are skeptical, just try it for a few days and see how you feel.