Are you getting the benefits you think you’re getting from the food you eat? Well, that entirely depends on whether your food is dead or alive. What we mean by “dead” food is that it is cooked, ultimately making it absent of its inherent nutrients. This means that “live” food is raw. Many people reap the health benefits of raw foods because they are not killing their food by broiling, baking, frying, or cooking it over high heat. If your cooked food to raw food ratio is 70:30, you need to reverse that ratio pronto to relish in the benefits that a raw food diet brings.
The Problems with Cooking Food
While it is true that cooking certain vegetables such as onions or garlic can enhance particular vitamins, the heat breaks down the inherent nutrients. By cooking food, you essentially inhibit yourself from getting the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes (all of which provide a healthy foundation) that are present in the food’s raw form. Why is this? Well, life-giving chemical reactions occur when energy runs between atoms. The cooking process interrupts those chemical reactions and depletes or can totally erase the energy flow. Think of your body as an alkaline battery. Just like a battery, your body needs energy to function. To keep your body charged you need to eat the foods that are not acid-forming. If too much acid corrodes a battery, what do you think it does to your body? Too much acid (alcohol, starchy foods, cooked food, salt, sugar, or meat) can decay your body, which is why you need the nutrients of raw foods to keep a neutral pH balance.
“I already buy lots of organic produce,” you may be thinking. Well, this means nothing if you cook your food to a dead state, or if you’re adding salt, sugar, or any other acidic components to your meals. It is true that organic food is 80%-300% more nutritionally dense than inorganic food. That’s even more of a reason not to cook the food! We want you to get the right nutrients you are supposed to be getting. Because switching to a completely raw foods diet can be challenging in the initial stages, we suggest flash-frying your food. This technique—cooking your food at a high temperature for a minimal amount of time in a pan filled with oil—allows you to keep some heat from the kitchen in your meals. If you want to warm soups or stews, heat them at 120 degrees or lower because the lower heat helps food retain nutrients.
Myths About a Raw Foods Diet
- First off, let’s make one thing very clear: it’s false to believe that a raw foods diet doesn’t give you enough protein. Protein does not solely come from meat. In fact, there are many vegetables and plant-based substances such as Spirulina, which directly deliver amino acids to you. Your body actually has to work harder to get those amino acids when digesting meat or eggs.
- It’s also false to believe that a raw foods diet is too expensive. There so many local farmers markets, co-ops, and grocery stores that have great prices on seasonal organic produce. Resist the urge to eat at the fast food restaurant down the street and buy some healthy veggies instead from a local grocer instead.
- Raw foods do not take long to prepare! Making raw food meals is easy, especially since there are so many recipes (now more than ever) solely focused on using fresh, raw foods.
It’s time to take charge of your health and treat your body like you want it to last. That means saying goodbye to dead food and preservatives. You don’t have to be an extremist to eat raw food; you just have to want to improve your health. Alkalizing foods such as green leafy veggies, fresh herbs, sprouts, or wild dandelions are readily available at grocery stores or local farmers markets. Commit to a raw foods diet and you’ll be on the track towards a better, livelier, more raw way of life.