I mention raw foods and the first things you may think of may be carrot sticks, celery sticks and a side of ranch dressing for good measure. A raw food diet actually consists of eating foods that have not been cooked above 130 degrees. You incorporate lots of fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some people incorporate a percentage of raw foods into their diet; others choose to become 100% raw vegan.
By now, you should know it’s a healthier option to eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Our government tells us we should have five servings daily. This isn’t new information. What may be new to you is the concept of eating these fresh fruits and vegetables in the raw.
Here are five reasons to incorporate at least a greater percentage of raw foods into your diet than you may currently be enjoying.
• Vitamins and Micronutrients — Most vitamins and other micronutrients are damaged at temperatures above 130 degrees. These micronutrients are thought to help prevent many diseases including cancer.
• Enzymes — Raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts contain the necessary enzymes to complete the digestion process. They are proteins, which help release the vitamins and micronutrients for your body to use.
• Acid/Alkaline Balance — Processed foods, cooked foods, pollution and stress leave most people too acidic. Fruits and vegetables help keep you alkaline.
• Good Fats — Natural fats are heat sensitive. When sensitive fats have been heated, they lose their antioxidant qualities and some can be considered carcinogenic.
• Water — Fruits and vegetables are rich in pure water. Increasing your consumption will help keep you hydrated.
Eating refined, processed foods and saturated fats in the quantities that we are currently eating in the standard American diet have shown marked increase in: heart disease, cancers, osteoporosis, obesity, poor digestion, depression, diabetes … the list goes on.
Personally, I have experienced extended periods of eating vegetarian and raw vegan throughout my life. While doing so, I experienced increased energy, loss of weight, improved immune system, improved skin appearance, as well as mental clarity. Currently my diet consists of 70% vegetarian meals, and about half of that is raw.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy meat. I love a good porterhouse steak. I love lamb. I just know my body responds better, and I feel healthier, when I’m eating predominantly vegetarian.
So give it a shot; incorporate more raw foods into your diet.