The raw food diet has been taken up by millions of people, including several celebrities, who are seeking the loss or health benefits that following a raw food diet regime is said to bring.
Some people switch to raw permanently as a way of life, others go raw temporarily to lose or give their bodies a break while they fight disease.
Either way, if you are considering going raw yourself, you need to know something about the raw food diet.
Enzymes Present In Living Raw Food Diet Foods
Foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit contain enzymes which are the life force of the food. The enzymes will die at high temperatures, like any living thing.
This is why raw food diet is often called living food. Advocates of the raw diet point out that before the use of fire for cooking, we would always have eaten raw foods and this is what our bodies are designed for. They consider that we need these enzymes to be truly healthy and help our bodies to heal.
While it is true that these enzymes are destroyed in the process of digestion, it may be that they can be absorbed in their living form in the mouth during chewing and in the upper stomach before they reach the digestive acids in the intestines.
In dried foods, the enzymes are often deactivated by growth inhibitors which puts foods such as seeds and grains into hibernation until conditions are wet enough for the plant to germinate or sprout.
For this reason, even if you plan to eat these foods without sprouting them, it is a good idea to soak all seeds, beans, grains etc before consuming them, to reactivate the enzymes.
Throw out the soaking water because this will contain the discarded growth inhibitors.
Is Cooked Food Poisonous?
Some advocates of the raw food diet talk as if cooked foods were poisonous. Although this is probably an exaggeration, research has shown that some toxins are produced in certain types of cooking.
For example, some oils and other fats will produce trans fats when heated above certain temperatures. Burned and even browned fatty food such as barbecued or fried meats has been shown to contain substances which are harmful to the body. And heating sugars together with proteins or fats (cakes, cookies, candy etc) is believed to produce glycotoxins.
There are also many unnatural substances and additives in most processed foods. So if you do eat cooked food, it is better to prepare plain and simple boiled, steamed and stewed dishes from fresh ingredients.
What If I Cannot Be 100% Raw?
More and more people are adopting the raw food diet as the only source of food these days but you do not necessarily have to buy into the 100% raw philosophy in order to benefit from eating more rawfood.
Just increasing the amount of rawfood in your diet can have an extraordinary effect on your health and wellbeing even if you still have some cooked food too.
So if you do not want to go all the way, consider replacing two meals a day with raw foods.
You could have a large fruit based smoothie with some leafy greens added for breakfast, and
a large green salad with avocado and sunflower seeds for lunch.
Or try grated carrot or celery root with pumpkin seeds. There are many delicious dishes you can make as part of your raw food diet.