What Is Raw Food?
What is raw food and why should you eat it? Raw food diets have recently become vogue for the healthy and active, but increasingly the raw food world has open up to individuals who might not normally be interested in such a radical change to their normal eating habits. While some say that a ‘raw food’ diet craze began in the United States around 1986 when Harvey and Marilyn published Fit for Life, or when Jack Lalane wowed the world with his juicing recipes and high-powered juicer that is sold on every big box store shelf, the true origins of this healthy food to eat start way further back.
Raw foods are living foods, or foods full of life force. It is believed by raw foodists, that if you heat up a food past 115 degrees, that the vital nutrients that were once a part of the plant before it was chemically modified through heat will be broken down, such that they are no longer as beneficial to the body. Enzymes and important phyto-nutrients that exist within a plants structure are vital to our overall health, and while they certainly cannot be gained from the processed foods which normally line our grocery store shelves, they also cannot be gotten from foods which have been cooked to death.
From the ancient tradition of yoga and Ayurvedic medicine, there was a great emphasis placed on eating ‘living’ foods and herbs because they contain pranic energy or the vital force of the sun which blossoms in plants as they go through the process of photosynthesis in their life-span. According to these ancient traditions, when we eat these foods, we actually are eating the power of the sun, or light, and become lighter ourselves. we don’t just lose physical weight, but also mental weight and lethargy. We lose the heavy burden of an over-taxed body but also the unbearable weight of existence in a grey or dark world. Czech writer, Milan Kundera talks of this in his novel, the Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Even if you don’t subscribe to Ayurvedic and yogic interpretations of raw food consumption, you can receive innumerable health benefits. Raw food benefits range from supporting better digestion, and therefore weight maintenance (of either gaining or losing weight where it is needed), better sleep, increased energy, better mood and the reduction of many common diseases, including allergies, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and, a long list of other ailments which are essentially caused by a non-alkaline diet. All living foods are high in alkalinity, and therefore support normal cellular respiration. That means cells don’t drown in their own waste, eventually leading to metastasis (fast spreading of diseased cells) or a complete breakdown of the immune system.
True raw foods are life-inducing, and life-giving foods. You cannot easily be sick on this type of diet because the conditions for ill-health are neutralized in the body through vital, energy-filled, nutrient-dense foods. While some people imagine chomping on carrots all day long, this is not the only way to eat a raw-food diet and to really receive raw food benefits.
Blenders and dehydrators are used in a raw food diet, instead of microwaves and ovens. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat only raw fruits and vegetables. You can make soups and smoothies, as well as all sorts of traditional foods like lasagnas or meatballs, only they would be composed of ingredients other than meat or heated and processed foods. You can eat trail mixes of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and nuts and legumes. Seeds are also eaten as well as sprouts. Roots, seaweeds and fresh herbs and spices are utilized, so your food never tastes boring. A raw food diet is truly a cornucopia of flavours once you learn how to prepare and eat them.
You don’t have to be a 100% raw-foodist to enjoy all the benefits of a raw food-altered diet. You can start small by adding more ‘living’ foods and eliminating ‘dead’ ones. replace meat products with avocado or mushrooms. Instead of eating potato chips doused in cooking oil and then deep fried, try munching on dehydrated kale or sweet potato chips. They are delicious. You can take dried apples, bananas, pears, strawberries or carrots with you to the movies and eat them instead of the butter-laden and toxic GMO corn that is often used for popped corn in theatres. You can drink plenty of distilled spring water to wash it all down and just watch your overall health improve. Most people who start a raw food diet lose weight without even trying to. They also notice an increased happiness and lighter mood. They realize they are less hungry less often because they are giving their bodies light-filled foods packed with nutrition. Better living starts with eating living foods. Just what is raw food? It is the life-giving way of sustaining your body.