All nutritionists agree on the benefits of eating raw foods. We recommend you get some raw food into your daily diet. Eating raw food ensures that you get the full nutritional benefit of your food. Cooking can destroy up to 80% of food’s nutritional value. Heat sensitive nutrients like vitamin C, the B vitamins and most anti-oxidants are lost. Good, healthy fats are converted into bad fats and Trans-fats. Proteins coagulate and the bioavailability of protein foods are diminished.
Now you may ask, what is raw food? Raw food is any plant-based food that has not been heated above 47°C. A wide variety of food including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, flowers, leaves, seaweeds, superfoods and sprouts can be eaten this way. Need more motivation? Some of the benefits of raw food are listed below.
Raw food is full of life giving enzymes! All work done on a cellular level in your body is carried out by enzymes. Large quantities of enzymes are needed for digestion. Eating foods high in enzymes puts less burden on your body to produce its own enzymes and can assist with the digestion process.
One of the best forms of natural fibre is the cellulose found in fruit and vegetables. Cooking destroys the fibre in food so that the remaining amount may be insufficient to stimulate the bowels into action. Fibre plays an important role in regulating bowel movements, slowing down sugar absorption and providing nourishment to the cells lining the digestive tract. For more information on fibre see our blog post on beating constipation through fibre.
Raw foods are great for cleansing. The reason for this is that they provide your body with a vast amount of nutrients that support detoxification processes. The majority of raw foods, especially green foods, are also highly alkalizing. This helps your body correct its internal pH balance and empowers your body to get rid of acidic wastes that may have built up in your tissues over the years.
Some of the advantages that people eating a high percentage of raw food report include:
- increased energy
- clear thinking,
- improvement in acute-chronic health conditions
- improved appearance of hair/skin/nails
- loss of excess weight
- better quality sleep
- improved immunity
- stable moods
- Increased stamina in exercise and
- increase in the size of your compost heap 🙂
The easiest way to increase the amount of raw food in your diet is by drinking freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices daily. Besides being delicious, the nutrients in vegetable juices are easy to absorb and easy to consume. This is particularly valuable for people with digestive troubles and poor absorption.
If you are used to eating mostly cooked diet it is recommended that you move over to raw foods slowly. The reason for this is to allow your body the chance to adjust to the increase in fibre. Secondly, raw foods are very cleansing. If the rate of cleansing happens too fast you may feel discomfort commonly referred to as ‘detox symptoms’. If this happens you can either push through it or temporarily decrease the amount of raw foods in your diet.
For some raw food inspirations you can visit the recipe page on of this website.