I recently had lunch with my mom and a few of her friends, who have been on this planet for at least 7 decades (is that a politically correct way to state your age, Mom?). The big topic of discussion was this “raw thing” that I was into. As I sat there trying to help them to understand why incorporating more raw food into your diet is so good for you, I decided that I needed a little crib sheet. Something easy, that covers the basic principles that can be delivered in an easy to understand way. This is what I came up with. If you are new to raw, I hope you will find some basic questions answered. If you have been raw for a while, a refresher is always good for all of us!
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 116 Degrees?
Mainly we don’t want to kill the enzymes. Enzymes are considered to be the building blocks of 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.