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Why Eat Raw Foods?
By Kate Magic, from Raw Living

 

 

I made the conscious decision to "become a raw fooder" in 1993, and I can say hand on heart, that every year, it keeps gets better. For sure, there are challenges that arise in my life: I uncover emotional issues I need to work on; I encounter situations in my life that I need to change to move forward; more problems occur that demand a clear sharp focus to resolve; physical detoxification and healing comes up. But month on month, I find myself with increased levels of vitality. The joy I feel just through existing on this beautiful planet bubbles up and up; the energy and enthusiasm I have for life surges through my veins. The positivity and passion I feel for making the world a better place just keeps growing, no matter the setbacks I encounter on the way. I am more able to keep a clear intention and understand the steps I must take to reach my chosen goals. Every time I reach a new level of awareness and understanding, another one opens up before me. This journey is infinite, and it just keeps getting more magical.

I see raw foods as an integral part of optimum health and vitality. When you are eating pure plant foods with all their energy and life-force intact, you are assisting your body in tuning into its own wisdom which is aligned with that of the earth from which the plants have grown. One of the basic tenets of raw foods is to eat food as close to the source as possible, sunfoods. So we don’t generally eat animals and animal products, because the animals have gained their nourishment from the plants, and the plants are one step closer to receiving energy direct from the sun. Many of the superfoods grow in mountainous regions, e.g. maca, gojis – they are literally closer to the sun! Raw foods assist us in helping our bodies vibrate at the highest possible frequency; eating this way unlocks the potential within us to become more fully who we are.

Raw foods form the basis of a successful health programme for a variety of reasons.

  1. Enzymes. When we heat food above 42 deg C (118 deg F), the enzyme content is destroyed. Enzymes are necessary for almost every function in the body, especially digestion. As children, our bodies manufacture all the enzymes we need, but after adolescence we stop being able to make them ourselves and become dependent on food sources to get them. Enzymes are associated with ageing; a diet high in enzymes promotes youthfulness and immortality! I consider them so important, I take extra enzyme supplementation with my raw food diet, which I find gives me even more energy and strengthens my immunity.
  2. Nutritional content Nearly all foods have a higher nutritional content when eaten raw; heat destroys many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. There are a few exceptions, such as lycopene, found in tomatoes and carrots. Lycopene can still be absorbed by the body if the cell walls have been broken down, by juicing for example.
  3. Whole, unprocessed Generally, raw fooders eat foods that are less denatured. They are consuming less chemicals and artificial additives and preservatives with their foods. They are getting more fibre, and a higher water content.
  4. Alkalinity Thanks largely to the work of Dr Robert O. Young, the public are becoming more widely aware of the benefits of a high alkaline diet. Most junk foods and heavily processed foods are acidic, causing a stress on the body which increases weight gain and decreases immunity. Ideally, the diet should be made up of at least 70 % alkaline foods. A raw food diet high in vegetables easily satisfies this requirement. When our systems are alkalized, we feel calmer, can think more clearly, feel more on top of things, and have a stronger immune system.
  5. Immune system cooked foods put a greater strain on the immune system than raw foods. When cooked foods are eaten, the body has an immune response known as leucocytosis. This does not occur when raw foods are eaten, although cooked foods can be eaten if they form less than 50 % of the meal, and the raw foods are eaten first, in which case the body does not produce leucocytes. Generally, raw fooders find they are less prone to catching viruses than when they ate cooked foods, and when they do catch them, they tend to get them less severely and to shake them off faster.

Raw fooders tend to eat from four main food groups: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and sprouts (grains and pulses). From these foods, we can get all the requirements that conventional nutritionists state we need. To be successful, I believe a raw food diet should consist of at least 50 % vegetables, the majority being green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, rocket, broccoli, kale, celery, cucumber. The green leafy vegetables contain the most minerals and are also a surprisingly good source of protein. Juicing vegetables is an excellent way to up our daily intake. Fruit should be eaten minimally as a high fruit diet upsets blood sugar levels and can contribute to tooth decay. Try and eat local and seasonal fruit in preference to tropical fruits, which have lost a lot of their freshness and vitality as they have been shipped across the world. Nuts are a good source of protein but are generally acidic and mucus-forming. Soak nuts before using to activate enzyme inhibitors, and try and use seeds in preference. Seeds such as sesame, sunflower and pumpkin are highly nutritious , more easily digestible, and less acidic. Sprouted foods like lentil, alfalfa, sunflower, wheat and buckwheat, are one of the best sources of nutrition because they are guaranteed fresh, raw, seasonal and locally grown! Sprouts have a super-high nutritional content, and are cheap and easy to grow yourself.

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My current thinking is that the ideal daily raw food diet should look something like this:

2-3 litre highest quality water available (this can include nut and seed milks, teas, and juices)
Around 50% (in volume) of local, organic seasonal vegetables
And a balanced mix from the following food groups:
Nuts and seeds
Sprouts and indoor greens
Sea vegetables
Fruits
Superfoods
I think its crucial to include daily EFAs in the form of flax oil and hemp oil (at least 1 tbsp), and fermented foods and drinks such as sauerkraut or kombucha are also extremely beneficial.

I believe for raw foods to become successfully integrated into our existing lifestyle, it is important not to get too fixated on our diets. Many people fail because they set themselves unattainable goals which they can’t stick to, and then they feel that the raw food diet must not be for them. For it to be sustainable, it is far better to introduce raw foods gradually than rush at it headlong. Just increasing 50 % of your diet to raw will reveal the benefits to you, especially when combined with daily consumption of superfoods. The rest will come in time. Raw is a journey not a destination; it is the key to a door but we must walk through the doorway unassisted, with no crutches. When being 100 % raw becomes the goal, we are missing the point; if sticking to the diet is making us unhappy because we can’t share food with friends, we are getting it wrong. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, and it is vital we keep that perspective: preparing and eating your food with love is just as beneficial as the quality of the food itself. When done properly, we shouldn't have to think about it; raw is there to enable us to live our lives more fully, to free up energy to enjoy ourselves, not to become another set of rules to be entrapped by. Raw foods open up a whole new paradigm within us, a world of unlimited life and abundance, where there is no death just a continual rebirthing process. The potential for the transformation of humanity as more and more people open themselves up to this way of being is mind-blowing.

If you are interested in finding out more about raw food nutrition, and want some recipes to get you started, I go into more detail in my earlier books, Eat Smart, Eat Raw, and Raw Living.

First published by Process Media 2012

www.rawliving.eu


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