A number of people have asked me about raw foods lately. For the past couple of years I’ve gone back and forth between vegetarian, vegan and raw foods, and lately have been eating a higher raw diet. So if you’re asking, “What’s the deal with raw food!?” I’m here to give you a quick, simple overview.
There are countless benefits to eating a diet consisting of primarily raw, organic foods, but I’m just going to cover the basic information – the details that made me say, “ohhh, I get it now!”
*Please note: there are different ways to eat a raw foods diet, some that include animal products. For this post, I am only focusing on raw vegan food.
Q: So…what is “raw food” anyway?
A: Quite simply, it is unprocessed and uncooked plant food. Raw food consists of fresh or dehydrated fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds that haven’t been heated above 116 degrees.
Q: What is the point? What happens when you heat food?
A: One word: enzymes! Our bodies naturally produce enzymes that digest our food, boost our immune system, combat disease, perform bodily functions, and keep everything running correctly. These enzymes are needed for every chemical reaction that happens in our body. The catch is, we have a limited supply of these enzymes.
Eating a diet of primarily cooked food will cause the body to focus almost all of its energy and enzymes on digestion, and neglect supporting other important functions in the body. According to Dr. Edward Howell, MD, a pioneer in food enzyme research, this is “the underlying cause of almost all degenerative disease.”
Raw plant foods already contain all the enzymes needed for digestion! When we eat these raw foods, we don’t have to do so much work to digest them – therefore we free our body’s enzyme and energy supply so it can focus on other tasks – improving our immune system, combating disease, getting rid of excess fat/weight, improving our skin, hair, nails – and countless other things!
Q: Ok, that makes sense. So what kinds of improvements do people report after incorporating more raw food into their diets?
A: People who eat raw foods often report weight loss, clearer skin, healthier hair and nails, high levels of energy, needing less sleep, better digestion, and healing of disease, to name a few.
So those are the basics, my friends. I’m not a “raw foodist” myself but I have recently incorporated a high amount of raw foods into my diet and I feel GREAT!
Please remember if you start eating more raw foods, it is important to love yourself and choose organic.
To learn more about raw foods, check out these books:
So if you’re feeling sluggish, overweight or sick, try incorporating some more fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, seeds, juices and fruit/veggie smoothies into your diet! Your body will thank you.