A raw food diet is one of the simplest eating plans that there is. It's about eating mostly or all unprocessed and uncooked foods so you get all the nutrients without the toxic additives.
By eating more raw foods our bodies are able to obtain more nutrients in an easy-to-digest way, a way that our bodies are naturally suited for.
You may not want to make the leap to going full on “raw vegan,” but it would help to make sure that you consume at least some raw vegetables and fruits every day for optimum health.
Just some of the benefits of a raw food diet include:
- lowering inflammation
- improving digestion
- providing more dietary fibre
- improving heart health
- helping with optimal liver function
- preventing cancer
- preventing or treating constipation
- giving you more energy
- clearing up your skin
- preventing nutrient deficiencies
- lowering the amount of anti-nutrients and carcinogens in your diet
- helping you maintain a healthy body weight
So why Raw? How are enzymes in foods are impacted when they’re cooked...
Studies have shown that foods heated over about 112 degrees Fahrenheit retain less vital enzymes than when they are in their raw state. The body uses digestive enzymes to break down foods to smaller and more operable nutritional units. When it comes to taking in nutrients then it's not so how much how many nutrients a food has to offer that matters, but how we are actually able to absorb these nutrients.
Our pancreas and other cells produce are what produce the enzymes to help with digestion (these are called endogenous enzymes) while raw foods also supply some enzymes (called exogenous enzymes). The higher our intake of exogenous enzymes (aka raw foods), the easier time we have fully digesting nutrients without overly upsetting our digestive systems.
It's also a good idea to eat more raw foods is because they easily make their way through the digestive system. The problem is that the longer a food sits in the digestive tract, the more likely it is to ferment. This then causes gas, inflammation and toxic waste to accumulate. Although, please note that pre-fermented foods don't cause this side effect.
Raw foods also have a big impact on the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. Scientists have discovered that diseases develop when acidity rises, this is because acidosis lowers immunity. Our bodies can become overly acidic due to a variety of reasons such as environmental pollutants, stress, processed and refined foods and a lack of nutrients.
So cooked foods create even more acidity where as raw foods will help to neutralise acid and alkalise the body.
Also, we can't leave out the weight loss factor. Whilst this should be the only factor for you switching to eating a raw food diet, it is happy side effect. This is because you're likely to feel fuller when eating more nutrients and your body will stop craving foods that don't suit your needs.