What is Raw Food eating?
Raw Food eating is the practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet. Such foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, and more, prepared in a variety of tasteful methods. Raw Food eating is not necessarily synonymous with vegetarianism – ie, it does not necessarily exclude the ingestion of meat or animal products by definition. It also is not, by definition, synonymous with “uncooked food” – foods can routinely be heated up to 115 degrees F in preparation.
Why Raw Food eating?
Raw food advocates believe this eating lifestyle has numerous health benefits, including:
• Increased energy • Aid the body in the healing process of disease
• Improved skin appearance • Weight loss
• Better digestion • Reduced risk of heart disease
Raw foods include bacteria and other micro-organisms that affect digestion and the immune system by inhabiting the digestive tract with beneficial gut flora (“good bacteria”).
Raw foods have higher nutrient values than foods which have been cooked. Heating food above 115 degrees F can destroy enzymes in foods that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food, as well as degrade the nutrients in foods, thus removing their healing and “life force” value.
Over-heating oils and fats can produce trans-fat: the greatest of all enemies in regards to the prevention of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart disease. Overheated fats and proteins (eg, grilling meats) are also potentially cancer-inducing.
Over-cooking foods produces advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – which affect nearly every type of cell in the body and can contribute to age- and diabetes- related chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, heart attacks, kidney disease, eye disease, gum disease, and nerve damage (in other words, these can cause real damage!).
Furthermore, processed and convenience food often contain excitotoxins (such as flavor enhancers) which can cause excitotoxicity – which is when nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters. Foods with added chemicals, preservatives, additives, coloring agents/dyes are discouraged for similar reasons.
On the other hand, raw foods such as fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and can help to slow the aging process, among other benefits. Raw foods also contain fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet (a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations), and are lower in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and health-promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals. These properties are associated with a lower risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
How do I get started?
For those who are undergoing a comprehensive treatment plan following hair analysis testing, we will guide you on each and every step, obviously including the very first steps.
More generally, one consideration is to start your change with breakfast, because it’s your first meal of the day. As such, your breakfast intake sets the tone for the rest of the day, both in terms of your behavioral habit as well as your metabolic response. For example, if you start your day at breakfast with a carb like toast, you’ll metabolically be more hungry in a short amount of time, and you’ll likely behaviorally be more inclined to have a sandwich at lunch (with more bread). In contrast, if you start off with fresh fruit for breakfast, you’ll be more inclined to eat more fruit or perhaps a fresh salad for lunch.
Do I have to "go all the way"?
Again, for those who are undergoing a comprehensive treatment plan, we will guide you on your every step during this period.
Following the specific treatment course, or perhaps more generally as a healthier eating lifestyle, a partial raw food eating lifestyle can bring you many benefits. Once you start, you will notice a difference in the way you look and feel, which will make it easier for you to make even further progress.
What about getting enough protein?
Protein (in the form of amino acids, which when combined create protein) are present in every living thing, so the notion that one must eat meat to obtain enough protein is simply a misconception. Eating a wide variety of foods will lead to adequate protein intake.
The food groups that contain the most concentrated sources of protein include green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and beans. Examples of such foods include spinach, broccoli, sprouted wild rice, oats, raisins, sunflower or sesame or pumpkin or flax seeds, sprouted soya beans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, sprouted quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, avocado, and many more.
The RDA suggests 35-60 grams of protein a day, depending on the source of recommendation and other factors (gender, athletic performance, etc). Just 1 cup of many of the above foods can fulfill this recommendation.
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