Raw foods come to us with the living enzymes necessary to facilitate the digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in foods. Cooking kills all enzymes, as well as most vitamins, and alters the minerals and proteins in such a way that they are less usable to the body. Because the cooked food is not accompanied by the enzymes necessary for digestion, it places more of a strain on our digestive system and many of the nutrients that are left after cooking are lost in this process (besides those lost through any refining or processing).
Raw foods are also the most nutritionally dense, because all of the original vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and fiber are in their unaltered forms and completely available to our bodies. A raw food offers up to three times the nutrition of the same cooked. Since true nutrition is concerned with feeding our cells, it is important to provide them with the living nutrients of raw foods. Life can be sustained on cooked foods, but cells are not replenished and replaced in an optimal way. On raw foods you will find that you eat less, yet your body will operate more efficiently with what you provide.
Also because raw foods are easily digested, less energy will be expended on the process of digestion and be available to you. Most people who add more raw foods to their diet are surprised by the increase in energy they experience.
Live foods feed your living body!
Easy ways to add more raw foods to your day:
- Choose fresh fruit for snacks
- Begin lunch or dinner with a large salad
- Try a fruit smoothie for breakfast or dessert
Reasons for RAW
1. Eating raw means we are consuming foods as close to the way they were originally created as possible.
2. All animals subsist on an all raw diet (except for humans and their pets)
3. Raw foods are in their purest state (organic). Unaltered by heat, chemicals, stabilizers, preservatives, colorings, additives, etc.
4. They are packed with nutrients in their most body-available forms:
- Amino acids
- Essential fatty acids
- Complex carbohydrates
- Purified water
5. Raw diet provides more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.- than any other diet!
6. In contrast, cooking:
- destroys oxygen, enzymes and chlorophyll
- destroys most vitamins (all of C, most of B)
- alters minerals (rendered inorganic)
- alters/harms fats and fiber
- requires more energy for digestion (cooked foods – 35-65% of energy, raw foods – 8-12% of energy)
- requires more time for digestion (2-3x)
- encourages overeating- because nutritional content is lacking, our cells are still looking for nutrition
To enjoy plant-based whole foods in their most nutritionally-active state (raw!), check out the healthy vegetarian gluten-free recipes in this book.