Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Raw?

A raw food diet consists of uncooked or processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and seeds or any other food that is kept in its natural state. Raw foods are those that have not been cooked over 110-120 degrees which preserves the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and oxygen in the living food. A raw food is the most natural and healthy way for humans to consume food. That is why I am taking the Raw Food 30 Day challenge. For the next 30 days I will eat only raw foods. I will share my journey along the way for others that may be interested in giving it a try. Here are my top 6 reasons to Go Raw! 

  1. Essential Vitamins & Minerals - Food has essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies, minds and spirits need to function at the highest levels of being. Vitamins and minerals are small messengers each with different messages to tell within our bodies. Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins — A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins — C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) — need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can't store these vitamins. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn't use as it passes through your system is lost. So you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day. Whereas vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals), minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants. Vitamins and minerals allow our bodies and minds to perform the hundreds and thousands of tasks they carry out on a daily basis. Without them we begin to become deficient. Any deficiency is extreme for the body as it cannot carry out the tasks needed in a healthy manner without the needed vitamin or mineral. The body is amazing though and will compensate for the deficiency often by pulling reserves from other places within the body or by taking away from less vital organs, systems and processes. Less vital however still very important! For instance if digestion is even remotely degraded we stop extracting, assimilating and excreting in the most healthy way. All areas are degraded. Over time a vitamin and mineral deficiency can add up to tremendous health problems. Because of the way we process and eat our foods here in the US we see a huge number of people deficient in needed vitamins and minerals. We often eat very little nutrient dense foods and the ones we do manage to get into our diet are cooked and processed. Cooking and processing food degrades their vitamin and mineral content many times by leeching the vitamins and minerals out of the food and into the water in which the food is being cooked. High heat further kills and degrades the vitamins and minerals. So by the time we ingest the food the vitamin and mineral content is poor to minimal. Refining also further degrades the vitamin and mineral content. Take bread for instance, the process in which bread is made strips the grain of its most nutritional out layer and leaves a grain that is difficult for our digestive system to utilize or pass. 

  2. Fiber - Cooking also degrades the fiber content of foods. The rough outer layer of most vegetables is an indigestible form of fiber that is much needed by the body to keep the digestive tract and colon cleaned and cleansed. One of the leading reasons we see such high cancer rates of the colon and other digestive organs is because of our lack of fiber ingestion and its regular cleansing effects. Indigestible fiber comes in the form of roughage, the state in which most vegetables grow from the Earth. Eating these vegetables in their natural form is what is most healthy and cleansing to our bodies. It also helps to clean cholesterol out of our blood. 

  3. Enzymes - What are enzymes? Dr. Edward Howell, one of the leading researchers in enzyme therapy, stays “Enzymes are substances which make life possible.” They are needed for every chemical reaction that occurs in the body. From digestive processes to neurotransmitter function in the brain. Enzymes are active substance that are catalysts, they make the function occur. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that cooked and processed foods contain few, if any, enzymes. Enzymes are destroyed when food is cooked at a high heat and through the packaging and preparation we typically see in the food industry. Living foods, raw foods, in other wards foods that have not under gone any cooking or processing of any kind, the food in its Natural state, contains active living enzymes. When we ingest these living enzymes our body is able to readily and immediately put them into action. When we ingest foods that are dead or do not have any living enzymes our body then is required to make its own enzymes which takes energy away from other processes. When we take in active enzymes from living foods our bodies are able to correct enzyme imbalance, integrate living enzymes and overall increase the efficiency of digestion and other enzyme dependent processes. 

  4. Probiotics - Probiotics are all the rage right now but there is little understanding as to why that is. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. They help our intestinal tract make vitamins, processes nutrients and rid the body of bad bacteria, germs and parasites. Because our food system is infiltrated with the use of antibiotics our bodies have become filled with second hand antibiotics. Antibiotics are good at killing the bad bacteria but it also destroys all living and beneficial bacteria in the body. Without a new input of beneficial bacteria our body can remain depleted. Raw foods include bacteria and other micro-organisms that affect the immune system and digestion by populating the digestive tract with beneficial gut flora, beneficial bacteria. These are generally killed by cooking. Through eating living and raw foods you help to keep your good bacteria in balance and healthy. 

  5. Cleansing - Even if we follow the very best of diet and lifestyle practices we are living in a highly toxic and polluted environment. Eating inorganic foods that are heavily laden with toxic herbicides and pesticides, breathing air that is filled with petro chemicals, drinking ground water that is containment by our own waste and toxic byproducts and living in environments that are stressful takes a toll on our body especially the organs of elimination. Eating and drinking raw foods and juices helps to flush the cells and organs with highly nutrient dense activities living nutrients. This encourages the cells to release stored toxins and build healthy new cells. 

  6. Heal & Restore - The human body is made to function at optimal levels of health at all times. The body isn't able to self heal any longer when the system becomes too deficient in needed nutrients or it becomes so over toxified that essential processes cannot function. When sickness or unwanted symptoms begin to appear we know we have become deficient or too toxic. Raw living foods help to restore and correct both deficiency and toxicity. First it supplies the body with the highest level of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes and at the same times flushes the cells and organs helping the body to remove toxic build up. Once these two areas are addressed the body is able to initiate self healing and corrective measures. Disease cannot exist where there is balance. Raw foods help to bring balance to the body and mind. They also help to balance weight, restore health and reverse unwanted sickness, disease and conditions. 

This free video on YouTube has a detailed and amazing explanation of the Raw Food Lifestyle and the befits to your body, mind and soul! 

Raw for Life

Blessings of Health!

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