What is the Raw Food Diet?
A raw food diet includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts served cold or slightly warm but under 118 °F. Higher heat damages nutrients and enzymes which can break down into toxins that cause disease. Raw food can help you achieve optimum health, lose weight and prevent many degenerative conditions.
Raw foodism is actually not new. It can be traced back to the late 1800s, when Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner discovered that eating raw apples helped him cure his jaundice. He started to test the effects of raw food on human health – and the raw food diet has been evolving since then!
Typically, “live” or “raw food” is mostly organic and hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered or exposed to toxic chemicals, GMOs or pesticides. It includes fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs in their whole, natural condition. Advocates claim that cooking over 118 °F destroys or damages most of the nutrients in your food. Since the food is then much more nutrient dense, you don’t need to eat as many calories as people need on a diet of cooked, processed and “dead” foods.
Raw foodists are usually experts at juicing, blending, dehydrating, sprouting, germinating, cutting, chopping and many other methods to prepare raw food recipes for themselves, as well as their pets.
How to Enjoy a Raw Food Diet for Optimum Health!
Here are the basics of a raw food diet in a nutshell, though simplified for fast, easy understanding. A raw foodist is someone that eats 75-100% live, nutritionally-dense organic uncooked and unprocessed food and drinks pure, live water. Enjoying delicious meals without cooking the “life” out of your food helps optimize your health by alkalizing your body. At that rate, your body can eliminate the toxins created when you cook.
When more 25% of your diet is cooked, you are eating acidic toxins faster than you can eliminate them. You then store these toxins in your fat cells, disrupting your body’s acid/alkaline balance. Acidic toxins are a major cause of excess weight and disease.
Common myths of a raw food diet are that eating raw is expensive and that it takes a lot of time to prepare. Nothing could be further from the truth! When you do it correctly, a raw food diet is one of the most convenient and economical ways you can live a long and healthy life! You see, cooking food above 118°F. is what actually causes most of the chemical changes in food associated with many health problems. Heat breaks down the food creating mutagens, carcinogens and free-radicals associated with diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer – while also destroying the live enzymes we actually need.
Your body is meant to be alkaline!
Your body is like an alkaline battery — running on electrons. All life-giving chemical reactions only happen when electrons or energy flows between atoms. Cooking or processing causes food to lose electrons – the source of the energy your body needs. Things that are healthy ‘contribute” electrons and are called alkalizing. Things that are unhealthy steal electrons and are called acidic or “oxidizing.” (burn up, rust or decay).
Because the pH scale is logarithmic even a fraction of a point can create huge changes to health! One hydroxyl molecule (-OH) in 550 million is enough to make water conductive. In fact, most important processes in your body only work within a very narrow pH range. For example, if the pH of your blood falls to the low end of its normal range (~7.35-7.45), a .10 difference, it could reduce the oxygen levels in your blood by as much as 300%!
Remember, raw foodists eat mostly organic food, which is 80% to 300% more nutritionally dense — loaded with available electrons/energy. As your body learns to absorb this additional nutrition and energy you’ll be less hungry, getting more energy from what you do eat, and eat less. This ultimately can reduce your food costs, as well as your health care costs, far below what is was when you were eating empty calories filled with the acidic toxins. A live, raw food diet, plus pure water, is the ultimate health care plan!
Eating a raw food diet means consuming fresh, nutrient-rich plant foods that have not been heat processed. When foods are cooked, much of their important disease-preventing nutrients are lost. Conversely, a raw diet provides you with a greater degree of health and vitality, slows aging, and promotes healing. By making the majority of your diet healthy raw foods and avoiding unhealthy alternatives, you can improve your health and reduce your risks of suffering from a degenerative disease. Getting started with this nutritious lifestyle is easy.
Suggested Raw Foods List of Staples
With a little preparation you can enjoy the benefits a raw food lifestyle all the time. To make that easy, here’s a list of the raw doods staples to stock up on:
- Fresh organic fruits like blueberries, oranges, bananas & avocados
- Fresh, organic vegetables in season
- Fresh, organic leafy greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, etc.
- Soaked & sprouted raw nuts & seeds
- Sprouted or soaked gluten-free grains like quinoa, millet & buckwheat
- Sprouted or soaked legumes, like lentils, peas, chickpeas & beans
- Foods high in probiotics like raw sauerkraut & miso