The Interesting Facts about Raw Food Diet – A Full Explanation

Have you started hearing about the Raw Food Diet? It’s gaining popularity and buzz, not just as a diet to lose weight, but a diet for a long and healthy life. We eat so much in the way of processed food that we don’t even stop to think about what we’re putting into our bodies, and how far we’ve come nutritionally from our ancestral, agrarian roots.

The Facts about Raw Food Diet

A raw food diet means consuming food in its natural, unprocessed form. There are several common-sense rationales for why this is a good idea. Processing and cooking food can take so much of the basic nutritional value away.

Think of some of the conventional wisdom you’ve heard about for years, such as: If you cook pasta just to the al dente stage, it will have more calories, yes, but it will have more the nutritional value in it than if you cooked it to a well-done stage. Or you probably remember hearing not to peel carrots or potatoes too deeply, because most of the nutrients and values are just under the surface.

The raw food diet means eating unprocessed, uncooked, organic, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc. It means a diet that is at least 75% uncooked! Cooking takes out flavor and nutrition from vegetables and fruits. A raw food diet means eating more the way our ancient ancestors did.



Our healthier, more fit ancestors. They cooked very little and certainly didn’t cook or process fruits and vegetables. They ate them RAW. Their water wasn’t from a tap; it was natural, spring water. Maybe they drank some coconut milk on occasion.

Doesn’t it just make sense that this is how our bodies were meant to eat? It’s a way of eating that’s in harmony with the planet and in harmony with our own metabolisms. Our bodies were meant to work, and need to work to be efficient. That means exercise, certainly, but it also means eating natural, raw foods that require more energy to digest them.

Why The Raw Food Diet

Because cooking takes so many nutrients and vitamins OUT of food, you automatically start feeding your body what it needs when you stop cooking food and start eating uncooked, nutrient-rich foods. A raw carrot has exponentially more nutrition than a cooked carrot.

Cooking also alters the chemistry of foods, often making them harder to digest. Why do we have so many digestive problems in this country? Because we’re putting foods into our bodies in a form that we weren’t designed to absorb. High fiber, high water content fresh produce abolishes constipation of the bowels, cells and circulatory system. Obstructions are cleared and blood flow increases to each and every cell in the body. Enhanced blood flow is significant for two reasons: as mentioned above, blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to living cells and carries away their toxic metabolites.

Obesity is endemic in this country. The diet industry is more profitable than the oil companies. Why? Because the way we eat and prepare our food practically guarantees that we’ll overeat. Psychologists tell us that we overeat because our souls are hungry. But in reality, our bodies are hungry, even though we may feel full. When you start giving your body the nutrients it craves, overeating will cease.

Eating raw foods is a boost to your metabolism as well. It takes a little more energy to digest raw foods, but it’s a healthy process. Rather than spending energy to rid itself of toxins produced by cooking food, the body uses its energy to feed every cell, sending vitamins, fluids, enzymes, and oxygen to make your body the efficient machine it was intended to be.

You’ll naturally stop overeating because your body and brain will no longer be starving for the nutrients they need. A starving brain will trigger the thoughts that make you overeat. The brain and the rest of your body don’t need quantity; they need quality.

Raw Only Diet?

A diet is considered a raw food diet if it consists of at least 75% raw, uncooked fruits, vegetables, sprouts, etc. Raw and living foods are believed to contain essential food enzymes. The cooking process (i.e., heating foods above 116°F) is thought to destroy food enzymes.

People who follow the raw diet use particular techniques to prepare foods. These include sprouting seeds, grains and beans; soaking nuts and dried fruits; and juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is allowed is via a dehydrator. This piece of equipment blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116°F.

Do you have to follow the regimen that strictly? Of course not. But it’s certainly worth it to incorporate some of these techniques and ideas into your diet. If you tend to snack at work, try taking in carrots or apple slices. Many of the bigger grocery stores now offer packaged vegetables or fruits that make it easier to pack them and take them to work.

We’re a nation of convenience, and much of the resistance to healthier eating is that it does generally take a little more effort and time to buy and slice fruits and vegetables. Food retailers have been catching on, slowly, and it’s much easier now to get bags of sliced carrots, celery, apples, nuts, and raisins.

Of course, these aren’t necessarily organic foods, and organic is the better way to go, but we think anything raw is infinitely better than cooked, processed food. If you have the time, do buy organic and slice them yourself. But if you’re in a hurry, and nowhere near a natural food store, then don’t beat yourself up or sabotage your efforts because you can’t do this 100% all the time.

That’s not realistic. Anything from the fruit and vegetable aisle is going to be better for you than a potato chip, or worse yet, a french fry!

Raw Food and Skin Health

What’s the largest organ in your body? It’s your skin! It provides a protective covering for the other organs of the body. It changes to regulate your internal body temperature. And it’s a good indicator of overall health and well-being.

People spend thousands of dollars on skin preparations to make your skin look vibrant and glowing. They’re all topical products – products that we put on top of our skin. But if we spent just a fraction of the money we spend on these preparations on raw foods, we’d begin to see an immediate change in the texture of our skin.

When you eat raw foods, you put more of the essential vitamins and amino acids your body needs into it. You’re also adding moisture – naturally. Raw foods have a much higher moisture content than cooked foods, simply because the cooking process takes out so much essential moisture.

Your skin is a mirror of what’s going on in the rest of your body. And when your organs and blood are fed the nutrition they need to function properly, that shows in your skin. Get your vitamins and moisture from foods like apples and carrots. When you do, then phrases like “inner beauty” and “inner glow” will be applied to you. Your skin is what’s presented to the rest of the world and healthy, glowing skin makes the best first impression.

When you start adding raw foods to your diet, things will just naturally fall into place. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. People will react to you more positively. You’ll have so much more energy for your work, your friends, and your family. And this kind of energy is a self-perpetuating thing. You don’t need self-help books and expensive moisturizers and plastic surgery.

When your body and skin are getting their essential nutrition with raw, uncooked foods, you’ll look and feel your best, naturally!

Organic Products and Raw Food Diet

Fortunately for those of us newly interested in eating organic and raw foods, there are lots of products out there. Natural and organic foods used to be found only in natural food stores, and those could be few and far between. While not as ubiquitous as McDonald’s, there are many more stand-alone stores.

And the grocery chains are catching on too, with more organic selections than ever before. If you don’t see them in your grocery store, just ask. You’re probably not the only person in your neighborhood who’d like to see more of these options.

Many grocery stores now feature sprouts and other living foods in the produce aisle. Of course, if they don’t, there’s nothing easier to grow for yourself than sprouts!

There are also tons of sites on the Web where you can order raw and living foods. Just do a search on raw foods and you’ll come up with a lot of different places to order the foods you’d like to buy. Many of these sites are also full of useful information, to help you learn about eating raw foods and help educate you on the specific food values.

What else? Experiment with what you like. Take the time to learn a little about what the different nutrients in foods do for you. A few examples:

Cabbage – High in Vitamin C; important for healthy cell function.

Shitake mushrooms – contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.

Kale – Rich in fiber and helps reduce calorie intake with less hunger. We like that!

Barley – Loaded with niacin, fiber, and iron and is important for healthy blood sugar.

Pumpkin – So rich in fiber and vitamins; helps reduce appetite by filling the stomach with indigestible fibers

Reducing your exposure to these toxins can improve your health. True, some people eliminate toxins well. Still, the body needs to expend energy to eliminate toxins when it could be doing other things such as healing damaged cells, fighting off viruses and bacteria, or patrolling the body for cancer cells. Even people who can tolerate or eliminate toxins could feel substantially better without putting these poisons into their bodies.

And if your system is sensitive to toxins, you’ll be much better off eliminating them from your diet as much as possible. Fortunately, it’s easier to do this because there are a greater selection and variety of organic produce in our grocery stores.



Can you Feed your Children Raw Food?

Every mother wants the best for her child.  You want your child to look healthy, grow proportionately, feel energized and have a great immune system.  So, why do most parents in America feed their children junk food by the time they start eating table food?  Why do most restaurants serve French fries or macaroni and cheese for side orders and not steamed broccoli?  It is really a sad situation to watch young children who are obese.  Even schools offer peanut butter and jelly or ice cream for lunch. 

To ensure that your child is eating correctly you must feed them plenty of fruits and vegetables.  But the trick is to make it delicious and fun.  For instance, for breakfast, arrange a platter of fruit, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, they will love it!

Make faces out of the fruit.  Have them drink only water and no sugar 100% fruit juice that you juice yourself.  Get them used to eat vegetables that are uncooked.  Whenever they get hungry, offer small baby carrots or celery, they will grow to love the taste just the way it is.

You can introduce a new vegetable each week and learn how to hide it into your food.  For instance, chop up Portobello mushrooms in a chopper and add it to your pasta sauce and watch them gobble it up, barely noticing the mushrooms.  Make blanched broccoli and eat that for dinner.  If they see you eating healthy, they will learn early on to eat that way.  Do not let them eat packaged foods, such as macaroni and cheese, or fried chicken fingers, or anything fried for that matter.  Make sure that they eat vegetables at every meal and be careful when you go out to eat. 

Offer natural desserts that you have made at home, such as homemade sorbet, or fruit smoothie, or peach cobbler pie.  Stay away from cakes, cookies, etc that have preservatives and other unnatural flavorings.  Make it yourself and offer it occasionally.  You will find that they watch you and what you eat and if you incorporate a much healthier menu, so will they. 

The best part of raising your children to learn to love fruits and vegetables is that you will notice that they will turn down junk food when you are not around.  At that point, you will know that you have done your part in raising healthy adults.

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Cooked Foods on a Raw Diet

Does moving to a raw foods diet mean never eating hot food again? No, it doesn’t. Sometimes you want something hot. Hot food has always signified comfort for many of us. And on a cold, rainy day, carrot sticks or wheatgrass juice probably won’t cut it for most of us.

Most raw food, like our bodies, is very perishable. When raw foods are exposed to temperatures above 118 degrees, they start to rapidly break down, just as our bodies would if we had a fever that high. One of the constituents of foods which can break down is enzymes. Enzymes help us digest our food. Enzymes are proteins though, and they have a very specific 3-dimensional structure in space. Once they are heated much above 118 degrees, this structure can change.

Once enzymes are exposed to heat, they are no longer able to provide the function for which they were designed. Cooked foods contribute to chronic illness because their enzyme content is damaged and thus requires us to make our own enzymes to process the food. The digestion of cooked food uses valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest your food. Digestion of cooked food demands much more energy than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it takes for cooked food.

Eating enzyme-dead foods places a burden on your pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs. Many people gradually impair their pancreas and progressively lose the ability to digest their food after a lifetime of ingesting processed foods.

But you certainly can steam and blanch foods if you want your food at least warm. Use a food thermometer and cook them no higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Up to this temperature, you won’t be doing too much damage to the enzymes in food.

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