You know that eating raw food is good for you. You know you “should” eat more salads and fresh fruit, because it is somehow supposed to help you be healthier. In fact, more and more people are jumping on the Raw Food bandwagon, giving up cooked food altogether and eating only foods that have not been heated over 118 degrees F.
Although that certainly is not necessary for optimum health, including more raw food in your diet definitely can improve your physical and mental well-being. Here are six reasons to consider eating more raw food.
1. Uncooked food contains all the original enzymes. Cooking destroys enzymes, which are protein molecules that are required by cells for proper functioning. When you eat uncooked food, you get every last enzyme in that food, which aids in the digestive process and may help functioning in your other organ systems as well.
2. Raw foods have all their vitamins and minerals intact. Lightly steaming vegetables and slow-cooking meats will cause some nutrients to be destroyed; cooking food longer and hotter destroys many more.
3. A long-term diet with mostly raw foods has brought healing to some people with various degenerative conditions. Some raw-foodists contend that this happens because our body sees cooked food as poison, and that converting to a mostly- or all-raw foods diet cuts the poison out.
Although I agree that cooked food can be toxic to the body depending on the method used, I don’t agree that all cooked food is poison, or even merely unbeneficial to the body. However, since eating mostly raw foods means, by default, cutting out the dangerous processed junk, that in itself will support the body’s innate tendency to heal itself.
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4. Fresh raw food is free of mold. Nutrition experts warn not to keep leftover cooked vegetables in the refrigerator for more than a day or so, because mold (invisible at first) begins to grow after that. As long as you eat your cukes, tomatoes and lettuce in a timely manner, you don’t have to worry about that.
5. Overly cooked food is toxic to the body. I mentioned this above; let me be more specific here. Cooking foods at high temperatures produces carcinogenic chemicals. For example, certain cooking oils will produce lipid oxidation products. Meat cooked at high temperatures produces heterocyclic amines. These substances cause free radical damage to cells. Even the protein in vegetables perverts into a dangerous form when exposed to high heat.
6. A mostly raw food meal is easy to clean up. The only preparation dishes you will have to clean is the cutting board and knife. Even if you marinate and eat raw fish, you will merely have to sponge down the glass dish you used for the marinating. No soaking or scrubbing required.
In short, getting more raw foods in your diet can improve your health, and even make life a little easier. Begin to add a serving or two extra of raw foods to your diet every few days, and watch your energy level rise and your health begin to improve.
Emily Jacques is a natural health nut, mother, and online wellness coach. Sign up for her free newsletter at her site, http://thecrunchycoach.com, and receive your free copy of the report: “From Atkins to Vegan: How America’s Diets Are Failing Us.”
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