Food Focus: Health Benefits of Raw Food
Everyone knows it’s healthy to eat fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables every day. That isn’t a new concept. A raw food diet simply says that these foods should be most of what we eat.
Reason to eat raw:
Vitamins and micro-nutrients:
Many vitamins and other micro-nutrients are damaged or destroyed at temperatures above 130 degrees F (55 degrees C). Many of these newly discovered micro-nutrients are thought to help prevent cancer and other diseases.
Enzymes are the most heat sensitive of all nutrients, and are damaged or destroyed at temperatures above 115 degrees F (46 degrees C). Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain the necessary enzymes to make digestion easier on our bodies.
Our bodies are about 70% water. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content, which will keep you well hydrated.
Natural fats are very sensitive to heat (think of avocados and flaxseed oil). Heated and processed fats no longer have antioxidant qualities, and can be carcinogenic. Cooked fats are also sticky (think of a lasagna pan), which can cause blockages in the arteries and digestive tract, inhibit the absorption of nutrients, and reduce the body’s ability to transport oxygen.
The soft, soluble fibre in fruits and tender green vegetables keeps you regular and keep constipation at.
Proper acid-alkaline balance:
Processed food, cooked food diets, pollution, and stress leave most people too acidic, which prevents optimal immune system functions, and leaches alkaline minerals from the body. Fruits and vegetables help keep you alkaline. For more info on acid/alkaline balance click here
Fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds, algae, seaweed, grasses, sprouts and superfoods are the main food groups in a raw foods diet. Some raw superfoods are goji berries, cacao, maca, bee pollen, coconut water and raw honey.
An easy way to increase your raw food intake is to have a salad with every meal. Let the raw salad take up 1/2 of your plate which will reduce your cooked food to only 1/2 of your plate. This will aid digestion, increase the nutrient content of the meal and reduce the calories on your plate. Give it a try for a week and see how you feel.
For more tips on increasing the amount of raw food you eat check out my Wellness and Weight Loss Program.