reasons to go raw

There has been a renewed interest in incorporating raw foods into the diet the past few years. I make a point of eating raw food 80 % of my dietary daily intake and encourage my clients to do the same. Eating raw food has several health benefits. The process of cooking food depletes vitamins, destroys enzymes that help us digest our food, and damages vital fats and protein. While raw food is raw and unprocessed, cooked food creates free radicals which are major contributors to cancer and many other illnesses.

The most important reason to eat raw is to benefit from the enzymes. Enzymes can rightfully be called the fountain of youth. They are necessary for breaking down and absorbing the food that we eat. Enzymes are essential for the body’s vitality. Simply put, we are not what we eat we are what we digest. All food that we eat must be broken down. Our cells cannot absorb large structures. Protein must be broken down into amino acids, complex carbohydrates into simple sugars and fats into fatty acids. This is a huge job for our bodies and where most health problems begin. Without enzymes digestion can become very compromised. When we cook our food, we lose the enzymes. Heating food to over 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys the enzymes present in the raw ingredients. Food that contains few or no enzymes depletes your body of its own natural resources, accelerates the ageing process, and can cause illness due to a struggling digestion system.

If possible, try to eat fruits and vegetables that are organic. Crops today are heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides and this can be very toxic to the gut microbiome. If you are unable to purchase organic food, try using a vegetable and fruit cleanser, available in most health food stores. This would help to remove bacteria and pesticide residue. Scrub root vegetables with a stiff brush that you use just for your food. There is a list well documented from the EWG called the “CLEAN 15 AND DIRTY DOZEN” that you could take a look at for what is recommended to go strictly organic and where you can be more flexible.

Try not to go overboard on spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. These foods contain oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of the essential mineral’s calcium, magnesium, and zinc. This does not mean that you must avoid them completely as they do contain important nutrients. Adding these greens to your salads a couple of times a week would be fine.

Other benefits from eating a raw food diet include experiencing an improvement in skin and increased energy. It is important to stay fully hydrated if you want nice skin and the fact that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water allows you to do just that. In fact, the quality of the water in organic fruits and vegetables is much safer and higher than in tap water as there are no chemicals, only nutrients. If you eat raw food, you will notice that you are less thirsty and therefore can get away with drinking less water.

If you are looking to lose some weight, eating rawer will certainly help you do just that. Raw foods, being unprocessed, there is no need to worry about extra fats, sugars, and additives which are the main contributors to weight gain. Added to this, the quantity of fiber that you get eating raw as opposed to cooked will increase elimination resulting in less bloat and constipation.

To conclude, I am not suggesting that we all gravitate to a completely raw diet. But it would make a big difference if we all focused a little bit more on what we are fueling our body with. Perhaps just try to include more fruit and salads each day. When you are eating a cooked meal adding some leafy greens for added enzymes can make all the difference on how you digest that meal.

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