Sunday 10 May 2009

Raw Food Diet: returning to the source of food

The idea of Raw Food Diet has been around for some time. It is not just as a diet to lose weight (although it works very well), but a diet for a long and healthy life. Eating processed food has become such a big part of culture that we do not even think about what we are putting into our bodies, and how far we have come nutritionally from our ancestral, agrarian roots. And when there is health damage, we do not suspect our food as the origin; we go to the doctor for medical treatment of the symptoms.

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 have heard about for years, such as: If you cook pasta just to the al dente (or medium) 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. That is as untrue as believing that the Earth is flat.

The raw food diet means eating unprocessed, uncooked, organic, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc. For some people, it means a diet that is at least 75% uncooked. Other people believe that you cannot really heal your body if you do not eat 100% uncooked food, especially if you have a very serious or chronic disease.
Cooking does not only take out flavor and nutrition from vegetables and fruits. It takes all the ENZYMES away. Enzymes are vital elements in the whole functioning of our body. I'll return to that idea in another post. All enzymes die at a temperature of 101° F. Enzymes are alive elements in what you eat, they are what makes your body keep living on.

A raw food diet means eating more the way our ancient ancestors did, and we believe they were healthier and more fit. They cooked very little, and certainly did not cook or process fruits and vegetables. They ate them RAW. Their water was not from a tap; it was natural, spring water.
That is an idea that make sense, to think about how our bodies were meant to eat.

Raw Food Diet is a way of eating that is 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 are more easily digested than processed food because they still contain all the enzymes.