Before I present my Why Eat RAW food case, lets have a look at the facts…
Food of course, is often much more interesting than facts, so you can skip over this section, and start creating delicious healthy meals, by heading to the recipes section, knowing that Ive already taken into account all these details for you! But just in case you’re interested (and it really is good to know), you can read on…
It is estimated that 60% of disease is caused by the SAD diet (Standard Australian/American Diet). If food is the culprit, I believe that food can be part of the answer. As we become mindful about what we eat, we can start to make choices that promote our health over illness.
Food is consumed for nutrition but it is also consumed for pleasure. What happens if we learn how to satisfy our pleasure receptors with healthy food? Our lives improve! Exciting
What happens to Healthy Food when its Cooked?
Lets answer that question with a question; What are the building blocks that our bodies need to function?
Enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, essential fats and fibre. These are all provided by our food and are involved in growth, repair and maintenance of the body. Lets take a quick look at some of these and what they do for you.
Enzymes convert the food we eat into chemical structures that can pass through the membranes of the cells lining the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. Their job doesn’t end there.
Enzymes are the living proteins that direct the life force into our biochemical and metabolic processes. They help transform and store energy, make active hormones, dissolve fibre and prevent clotting. They have anti-inflammatory effects. Enzymes help balance and restore the immune system, and heal many diseases. Enzymes even help repair our DNA and our RNA.
Science tells us, when we cook food, we destroy many of the enzymes that help us naturally digest it.
Without vitamins our cells would not function properly and thus our organs would suffer and eventually we would no longer be able to survive. Vitamins help regulate metabolism, help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bone and tissue.
Guess what happens when you cook food? You got it, a large percentage of the vitamins are destroyed.
Viktoras Kulvinskas in his book, Survival into the 21st Century, estimates that the overall nutrient destruction is as high as 80%.
Tests have shown that we will lose 50% of the overall B vitamins while B1 and B12 can lose up to 96%. 97% of folic acid is destroyed as well as 70-80 % of vitamin C. Thats a lot to lose!
As human knowledge of the chemistry of living systems (biochemistry) increases, we learn more about essential elements. Mammals like ourselves are thought to use around twenty-five of the one hundred and sixteen known elements. Fifteen of these twenty-five elements known to be essential to life, are metals.
Mineral deficiencies cause disease in humans, for example, people who suffer from iron deficiency show symptoms such as lack of energy, getting tired easily and being short of breath.
Minerals also have a synergistic relationship with vitamins. They help each other help us.
You may have heard that minerals are also destroyed when they are cooked, but this is not the case. Nothing short of a nuclear reaction will destroy a mineral, what can happen is that mineral loss can occur during the cooking process, and the synergistic effect of the whole food can be destroyed, or altered, rendering them useless and also unable to assist our friends the vitamins.
Phytonutrients are what give fruits and vegetables their colour. Phytos protect the body and fight disease. They also fight cancer and help your heart. Phytonutrients are at the leading edge of research on nutrition. They provide medicine for cell health.
And once again, phytonutrients in freshly harvested plant foods can be destroyed or removed by cooking.
Why Eat More Raw?
Well, there’s the facts I promised, so here’s the answer – It just starts to make sense. If cooking destroys some of the vital and essential nutrients that we need to stay healthy, eating our food raw does the opposite. Consider it as eating live food for your live body.
It provides us with what we need for our health and well being.
I know from experience that when I increase my (alkaline & raw) fruit and vegetable intake, I have more energy, more mental focus, and all of the pesky things that can irritate on a daily basis, like acid reflux and aches & pains, dissipate.
I also know that I am feeding my body what it needs to thrive, not just survive. To feel happier, healthier and more energetic!
What is RAW?
In order for food to be considered raw it must not have been heated over 46-48C (115F). Some people, like Ani Phyo, choose an even lower temperature of 40C (104F) as this is when water gets painful to touch, so they believe it must be doing damage to cells and killing enzymes.
The more I began to educate myself, the answer to the question Why eat RAW food? became obvious, but it wasnt until I tested it on my own body that I was truly converted.