If you are considering taking up a diet of raw or living foods, you will want to know the raw food benefits that may come from this type of diet.
Raw Food Benefits
The first thing to remember when considering the raw food benefits is that everything that we would naturally eat is a living organism. Even if we are vegan, we eat vegetables which contain a life force in the form of enzymes. In fact, it could be said that all food in its natural state contains its own perfect mix of enzymes and our body was designed to consume foods in this state.
We can use the enzymes in the food in the early stages of the digestive process, along with the enzymes that our own body produces. This helps food to be digested completely.
The cooking process, and in fact any kind of heating over about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, destroys these enzymes. Because of this, proponents of the raw diet believe that cooked food is much harder to digest. The result is that when food is cooked, our body becomes clogged up with partially digested proteins and fats. On top of this, when we eat cooked and processed food our body has to work much harder on the digestive process, taking energy away from healing and the general maintenance of our physical structure.
Advantages of Raw Food
So if we eat only raw foods, the argument goes, we free up our resources so that our body can deal better with disease, rebuilding worn out cells and expelling the toxins of modern life.
There can be some detoxification effects as toxins are expelled, so some people report problems such as headaches, mood swings, digestive anomalies and increased auto immune symptoms in the first few days and weeks of switching to raw as the body adjusts. However, after this time, people who practice this diet report many raw food benefits, including the following:
- more energy.
- healthy, glowing skin.
- stabilized blood sugar levels.
- faster recovery from disease.
- smooth digestive process.
- feeling of spiritual wellbeing.
Fight Disease with Raw Food
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a raw food diet has helped some people to fight serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, you should consult your doctor on this point. Remember that any diet that is based entirely on whole, fresh foods is likely to help the body repel disease because you are automatically increasing vitamin and mineral intake while avoiding additives and refined foods including sugar and many fats.
So it is possible that if you bought only fresh, raw foods that a raw foodist would eat, plus a few grains and beans, and then cooked some of them at home in the form of soups and stews, you might get many of the same health benefits. However, until there is more research done on this point there are certainly many people prepared to advocate a diet of 100% uncooked and unprocessed foods for the sake of the perceived raw food benefits.