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Raw Living
Untitled Document

RAW LIVING

Get Back to Basics: The Health Benefits of Eating Raw Foods

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The term “raw living” refers to ones nutrition being completely derived from all raw foods. This way of living has been recommended by scientists, doctors, and nutritionists for centuries as the gateway to health and longevity. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and many other diseases and illnesses have increased dramatically over time and still we do not understand why this is happening to us. Instead, we need to look at what we are doing to ourselves. First things first – get back to the basics – the raw basics.

WHAT ARE RAW FOODS?


Raw foods are fruits, vegetables, legumes, sprouts, and grains of all kinds that are eaten in their natural, unaltered state – meaning, these foods are not cooked. Raw foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and especially in enzymes, because they have not been heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit. According to research, fats and oils in their raw form can help to emulsify and slowly remove the hardened trans fats that are stuck to the arterial walls. Adversely, when these oils are cooked, they create toxic substances harmful to the body – talk about heart-stopping information! This is even more of a reason to steer clear of the stove. 

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RE-EVALUATE YOUR EATING HABITS

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” But over time that profound statement seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Large manufacturing companies saw that people were getting busier and busier trying to juggle jobs and family life, so they introduced “convenient” and “fast” food. Pharmaceutical companies saw this trend as a cash cow. They knew there would be a need for drugs to combat the illnesses being derived from these chemically altered, preservative-packed and nutritionally devoid foods. This has only sent our health as a society into a downward spiral.

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IF IT’S COOKED, IT’S DEAD

Scientific studies from as far back as the 1920’s have shown that cooking not only destroys the nutritional and enzymatic value of the food, but coincidentally it also chemically alters the foods from healthy to poisonous. The high temperatures used to cook meals and process foods for packaging reacts with the nutrients and enzymes turning them into free radicals. I was surprised to learn that our bodies react to cooked foods as toxic invaders and respond accordingly by deploying our white blood cells to help protect us. 


WHAT ARE ENZYMES?

Enzymes perform many different functions in our bodies, both metabolic and digestive, helping us to break down and digest food as well as giving us the energy we need to live vibrant, productive lives. We are born with a “bank’” of enzymes in our bodies that are not replenished naturally, and every time we eat cooked foods (which are depleted of enzymes) it requires our bodies to expend our banked enzymes in order to process it properly. Raw foods, on the other hand, contain their own naturally occurring enzymes, and when ingested, do not require us to spend against our own banked enzymes. The naturally occurring enzymes in raw foods are also the exact properties that give those foods their healing abilities; when eaten, they help us to live longer and healthier lives.

DISCOVER THE WORLD OF RAW FOODS

Dr. Timothy Brantley, author of The Cure, says, “Based on my clinical practice, it is my opinion that if we all ate real [raw] food, the health of this nation would radically change for the good and diseases would disappear rapidly.” The notion of “you are what you eat” certainly holds true more so today than ever before. There is such a wide variety of produce, grains, and legumes that there is no need to limit yourself to the standard apples, oranges, iceburg lettuce, and roasted peanuts. Start exploring raw cookbooks; one of my favorites is Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet. Discover a plethora of fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors and nutrients, and learn the benefits of living foods such as sprouts and raw nuts. There is a whole new world for you out there by choosing to feed yourself and your family real, raw, nutrition – take advantage of what nature has to offer.

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Article Written By:  Megan Helgeson is a freelance writer on health and wellness, a yoga instructor, and a personal lifestyle trainer--helping you get the most out of life with home organization, time management, nutrition, positive intention, and goal setting. Contact Megan at mmhelgeson@gmail.com**Don’t forget to ask about Diva Yoga Parties in Orange County.

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