Raw Food

Raw food is gaining popularity around the nation and across the world. The raw diet has been scientifically proven to improve both physical and mental health. If you are uninitiated into the raw food craze you may think it is a boring and tasteless way to eat. Actually, the opposite is true.

The Science Behind It

Raw FoodScientific studies show that when food is cooked important nutrients are destroyed. Different studies suggest different top-end temperatures. You cannot cook your food to a temperature of 112°F to 116°F depending on the study you read.

The most important types of nutrients destroyed by heating foods to these temperatures are digestive enzymes. These enzymes play an important role in the breakdown of the foods you eat. They also help with the absorption of food.

When you are born you are blessed with a store of these important enzymes but they diminish as they are used throughout your lifetime. Your body cannot produce digestive enzymes on its own. Eating raw is one of the only ways to replenish your enzyme supply.

If you do not replace the digestive enzymes you lose there can be serious consequences. You can develop chronic, long term diseases and other health problems. Your body can also age at an accelerated rate.

A big step forward for raw food came with Dr. Douglas Graham’s 811 Diet. His suggestion of 80 percent carbs and 10 percent each of fats and proteins mimics your body’s nutritional makeup.

The Food Behind Eating Raw

A raw diet is exciting, vibrant, and delicious. You can enjoy fresh and seasonal produce – fruits and vegetables – whenever you want. There are no limits on the amount of fresh foods you can eat as they will not pack on pounds. A diet that is mostly raw will actually melt the pounds away.

The best fruits and vegetables are ones currently in season. A trip to the local farm stand or produce aisle at your grocery store will give you a hint into what is in season at any given time. You can find oranges year round but they taste much better in season, during the colder months.

Fruits and vegetables can be combined to create scrumptious combinations and a variety of tastes. In addition, you can include a limited amount of processed foods, (processed at temperatures lower than 116°F). These include:

  • Butter made from raw nuts
  • Milk made from raw nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Dried vegetables
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils that have been cold pressed
  • Soy sauces that have not been cooked
  • Fermented foods like miso or kimchee
  • Vinegar cured fruits and vegetables

The Preparation

Raw items can be further enhanced by various preparation methods. The basic tools needed to create healthy, gourmet raw food meals include:

  • A dehydrator
  • A juicer
  • A warming plate
  • A blender
  • A food processor

You may not want to splurge on all of this equipment at one time. They can easily be added to your kitchen an item at a time. Many raw foodists suggest starting with a food processor. This item will help save time when chopping and pureeing raw fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

A dehydrator is also important for creating interesting dishes from eating raw. A dehydrator absorbs all moisture from food and gives it a different texture. There are many different raw recipes that call for a dehydrator. It can be used for such unusual but incredibly tasteful items as a living foods pizza crust or living foods hamburger bun. Eat well, eat raw!

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