Sunday, July 4, 2010

Basic Raw Food Information: The Low Down

 After following raw food for one month and having amazing results with my diabetes management, plus starting to see some other physical changes, I realized I needed to put together a short primer of links to explain raw food and raw foodism.


What is meant by raw food?
Raw refers to food that is unprocessed, unrefined and not exposed to heat over 116 degrees, which kills the enzymes and nutrients. It is composed of fresh fruit and vegetables along with nuts and seeds. Raw isn’t a fringe movement. We all need to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Raw is another way to incorporate them into your every day diet, but in an interesting way.
What are the benefits of a raw diet?
When your food is prepared so that it doesn’t lose it’s nutrient content, your body can utilize those nutrients for maximum function. You experience increased energy, mental clarity, weight normalization, and superior health. Your body was created to heal itself and to be able to ward off disease. Without the proper nutrients as it’s building blocks, your body loses it’s ability to do this. Raw foods also help you slow the aging process.

Do you need to be 100% Raw?

No. In fact, when people are transitioning, I don’t even recommend it as it can set some people up for failure. If you can get to 51% raw, very specific health providing benefits will be experienced and can even get measured. I am all about starting the journey and helping people find better health and vitality along the way.

Why don’t you heat the food above 118 Degrees?

Mainly we don’t want to kill the enzymes. Enzymes are considered to be the building blocks of our bodies. Our cells need enzymes to survive and function. Research has shown that people with chronic disease have lower enzyme content in their blood. There is clearly a connection between low enzymes and disease. Eating food with their enzymes still available aids digestion and because we can use the enzymes in food, we don’t deplete our own stores of enzymes.
Where do I get my protein
Vegetables and fruits actually contain at least 15% protein. Protein is also available in nuts, seeds, greens and sprouts. When eaten raw, that protein is assimilated  better by the body. So, you don’t need as much protein if you are eating it in a raw form.

From a recent radio interview with Rawmazing's Susan Powers (not the militant exercise guru from the 90's)

Talking about raw food is a passion that is turning into an obsession. Trying to communicate why we should be eating more raw foods in a short amount of time can be tricky. When you start talking about raw food, people seem to fall into a few different categories. There are the fast food junkies who don’t want to know anything about food affects their health. They look at me as if I am from another planet.  Then there are people who are becoming aware but giving up their comfort foods just isn’t an option yet. They still look at vegetarian, vegan and raw as extreme. It is the next group that I am the most interested in. They are the people that have made the connection. They know that what they eat can dramatically impact their health. They are interested in learning about healthier ways to eat. Those are the people I love to talk to.

When I talk about raw food, I really am just trying to help people understand how valuable it is to incorporate more fresh, nutrient dense foods into your diet. The more the better. Rawmazing is all about learning how to do this painlessly and joyfully!

It is easy to understand why you should be eating more raw, unprocessed foods. Think of this: your body is designed to be a self-healing machine. You cut yourself, and your cells go to work. Voila, the cut heals. This self-healing occurs on many levels in our bodies. When fighting free radicals and disease, your body is constantly working to heal. The main fuel for this healing is the nutrients in your food.

If you are constantly eating nutrient void food, your body has no fuel to heal. That is when chronic disease sets in. It is a pretty simple theory. All we have to do is look around to see how our over processed, nutritionally absent diet is affecting us. Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Obesity are raging out of control.

The other day, I told a friend of mine that I no longer wanted to play Russian Roulette with my health. That is why I eat raw. I would rather stack the deck in my favor than try to grab at a passing card once in a while. Nutritious, unprocessed raw food will help you stack your deck. And it also tastes great!

Nutrients lost when food is processed (freezing, drying, cooking, cook & drain, and reheating)

This is just the beginning of explanation on what "raw" means.  They also follow the concept of food combining, meaning that raw foodist recommend eating fast digesting foods separate from slower digesting foods to prevent putrification in the gullet, which causes indigestion, gas, burping, and other discomforts.

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