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Archive for the ‘Why Eat Raw?’ Category

Illness:
There are many people suffering from little and big problems that could healed by changing eating habits. There are many people who are going from doctor to doctor, having expensive pills and procedures, trying to find cures for things that their own destructive eating habits are causing. They might benefit by experimenting with their diet.

Weight Loss and Diet:
When have you ever heard of some obsessively compulsively eating apples? From my experience raw food does not hook your brain the way cooked food does.

When you cook food the calories go up!

Yes raw nuts, seeds, oils and avocados are high in calories and fat – so what? Those are all good fats. Only animal products have cholestorol. If anyone has ever heard of someone getting obese after becoming a raw foodist, please let me know. If anyone can get fat on it I will! I love to eat, and as a raw foodist I eat all I want, yet my weight has stayed the same and I feel so good. I did lose 25 pounds since becoming a raw foodist this year and now am in the best range for my wt./ht. More important than the weight loss is the reduced migraines and GERD and just how good it feels to enjoy such beautiful food.

Do it Just to Know:
Another idea is that one might do it in order to know what it would feel like for you. Life is too short to miss a chance at something that might lead towards increased happiness and well being for you. It is not the sort of thing you ideally want to first discover when you’re 80 and say oh my gosh I could have felt this great for 80 years and I missed my chance.

Don’t do it or do it Later:
There are many who wave a flag with a sugar cube on it like an alma mater and say just bury me with a twinkie. And there are healthy 80 year olds who say they ate everything and drank everything and really they are just doing great! That is great! We are all different and different things work for us and if they stop working for us, empower with knowledge and experimentation.

It really can take years to warm up to the idea of cooling down your food, really that is just fine! Everyone has their own time for things. You may just decide to be a raw foodist fan. Do what works for you.

Why I did it:
I started incrementally. In 1987 I quit all meat for political reasons. Some fish and chicken trickled onto my plate after I quit dairy in the late 1990’s for health reasons. After being thoroughly used to those changes, the idea of increasing fruits and veggies and reducing/eliminating bread and pasta (which were making me fat) was not a huge leap. Having GOOD recipe books made it happen, that was the last and most vital piece of the puzzle, the inspiration to make the delicious dishes. Now I just have no interest in animal products, I think I have just finally read too much about them. The more I find recipes that fill cravings the more effortless and obvious the choice becomes.

Why you should do it:
Try it if it is what YOU want. And do it for you, don’t do it to try to please someone else, instead because it pleases you. And do it at your own pace. Changing your habits is more ideally motivated by your own interest in helping yourself than by some fear of what someone else will think.

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Why do so many of the core Raw reads quote research from 1930 and before? It is typical of what I have found so far. Is there just so little work being done now? Are rawfoodists just so incredibly relaxed by the diet that they just don’t seek scientific research to support it? Is it because the only real research money is in processed foods? Why do these old studies and actions keep being quoted? It makes the whole thing feel so questionable, like is that the best we can do? Does modern research deny that we “run out of enzymes and only have a limited supply”?

Even Wiki is looking for a particular citation in its description of Raw Foodism, check it out, maybe you can help Wiki:

    Wiki on Raw Food

I am still hopefully looking. I am sure there is a ton more out there and I just haven’t got through enough of the popular raw food books (where I want to start) in order to dig down deeper into research journals.

Close to many rawfoodists are the low cal high nutrient efforts. There have been some recent popular news articles, one in the New York Times, click here and one in Scotland:
Is 2500 Calories Too Much? – you may be interested to know that Scotland have just “officially” lowered their daily recommendations. The new allowances are 1600 for women and 2000 for men.

And medical news today has an article about low cal diets positive affect on Alzheimers.

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Why eat RAW (rawfoodinfo.com)?

This is brilliant and from rawfoodinfo.com She wrote a raw famous book Hooked on Raw:

“WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KNOWN DIFFERENCES?

Cooked foods cannot create true health because they are missing some very vital elements needed by the body for its optimal functioning; things like enzymes, oxygen, hormones, phytochemicals, bio-electrical energy and life-force. When foods are heated above 105 degrees F they begin to lose all of these. By 118 degrees F, most food is dead. Yes, the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins are still there, but in a greatly altered state – not at all what nature provided.

Each cell of the body is like a tiny battery, and raw and living foods supply the bio-electricity which charges these batteries. The bio-electrical energy of raw food can be clearly seen in Kirlian photographs of the food. This photographic process shows electrical discharges that naturally emanate from all living things as luminescent, aura-like flares surrounding the subject. The glow is bright and radiant in raw foods, yet almost totally absent in Kirlian photographs of comparable cooked foods.
To me “life-force” means “the energy that is able to create life.” The sprouting ability of raw foods demonstrates the presence of the life-force within them. All grains, legumes, beans and seeds sprout. Nuts in the shell sprout. Potatoes sprout and create new potato plants. (Do not eat potato sprouts as they are poisonous.) If you stick the top part of a pineapple into water, it will sprout roots. Apple seeds create apple trees. Avocado pits and mango pits sprout.

Now, take cooked versions of all the above, put them into soil and see if a plant will grow. Cooked food rots, rather than sprouts, and a new plant does not come forth. Through observation, you can easily demonstrate for yourself what you are losing by eating cooked foods. A food that is cooked cannot create life and cannot maintain the life-force energy in our bodies.

Cooking food disrupts its molecular structure and kills all the enzymes too. Enzymes are the indispensable biological catalysts (infused with “energy charges”) which enable the body to utilize vitamins and minerals. (Think of enzymes as the workmen and vitamins and minerals as the bricks and mortar. Without the workmen, the bricks and mortar don’t get put into place.) Enzymes are extremely heat-sensitive and thus do not survive in cooked foods. The vitamins and phytochemicals also are injured, greatly diminished, and left in an altered molecular state. The minerals are made less soluble. The fats have turned from life enhancing cis fatty acids to trans fatty acids, which create damaging free radicals in the body. Trans fatty acids also interfere with respiration of the cells. The proteins (including vegetable proteins), become denatured; they then coagulate (like the white of an egg) and are very difficult to digest. Some researchers report that unmetabolized protein particles in the bloodstream are a possible cause of allergies.

When you eat cooked (enzymeless) foods, you put a heavy burden on your body, which then has to produce the enzymes missing in the food. One of the reasons you feel lethargic or sleepy after a cooked meal is because the body is diverting its energy to replacing the enzymes that were not supplied. By comparison, a raw food meal leaves you feeling light and full of energy. You can judge this for yourself. Uncooked foods digest in 1/3 to 1/2 the time of cooked foods. The stress of creating and replacing enzymes, meal after meal, day after day, year after year, greatly contributes to accelerated aging.

Ingesting cooked food also causes the body to produce a surge of white blood cells (leukocytosis). These cells normally defend against disease, infection and injury to the body, but their production is a routine effect of ingesting cooked foods (as if the body considers such food a threat or danger). Because leukocytes carry a variety of enzymes, there is another possible explanation for the increase in white blood cells. The leukocytes may be delivering the missing enzymes so that digestion can proceed unhindered. Leukocytosis does not occur when raw, unheated foods are eaten. According to Viktoras Kulvinskas,5 “in any pathological condition, including the intoxification of the digestive system with cooked food or other toxic materials, these white cells increase from 5 or 6 thousand per cubic millimeter to 7, 8 or 9 thousand per cu.m.m.” Leukocytosis also occurs when additives, pesticides and chemically based supplements are ingested. And, of course, producing these cells creates an additional stress upon the body.

Raw foods are full of oxygen, especially green leafy vegetables which contain an abundance of chlorophyll. The chemical structure of chlorophyll is almost identical to the hemoglobin in our red blood cells. The only difference is that the hemoglobin molecule has iron in its nucleus and the chlorophyll molecule has magnesium. Chlorophyll detoxifies the bloodstream and every other part of the body better than anything else you could eat. When you eat raw green chlorophyll foods, you oxygenate the blood. The bloodstream, through its capillary system, then delivers this oxygen to every cell in your body. And when you eat greens in blended form, such as in Dr. Ann’s Energy Soups (see Recipe Index), this process is even more efficient.

Sprouted seeds contain vital elements which nourish our glands, nerves and brain. The hormones needed by the body are created out of the natural fat and other essential principles found in seeds. Think about how few seeds are found in the average diet. The plant breeders are hybridizing most of the seeds out of our foods. Now we can get seedless watermelons, seedless grapes, seedless citrus, and the list goes on. Even if we did find a seed, most of us don’t understand the value of eating it and thus, it would be discarded.

When you eat cooked starch, the body absorbs more than it needs. Getting rid of the excess starch then becomes another burden to the body. Those who favor cooked foods often make the point that since the body cannot absorb raw starch, this is a sign the food should be cooked. Another way to look at it, however, is that the body absorbs just enough of the raw starch for its needs and then passes out the rest. (When pig farmers feed their pigs raw potatoes, the pigs stay slender. Since farmers sell their pigs by the pound, they have learned to feed them cooked potatoes, which fattens them up.)

Cellulose – the woody, fibrous part of food – was previously believed to be unnecessary to the body. Because the body did not absorb it, it wasn’t deemed important. Now we know that this fiber is what keeps things moving through our body so that we don’t become constipated. Nature is vindicated again! I believe, in addition, that raw fiber has the ability to act as a broom which sweeps the intestinal tract and keeps it clean. Cooked fiber has lost the ability to do this for us. Enemas and colonics serve their purpose, but they are a poor substitute for what nature, by putting (raw) fiber into foods, has provided.

Raw and live foods nourish and improve the body’s inner environment. Raw and live foods enable the body to dislodge and expel accumulated wastes. A member of my family had a tiny sliver of metal lodged in his hand as a result of an accident. For two years he tried to get it out by squeezing, pushing, and probing with sterilized needles, etc., but it wouldn’t budge. He went to the Optimum Health Institute (to learn about live foods) for a week and, when he returned home, decided he would continue on raw foods. Four weeks later, a bubble formed on his hand and inside the bubble was the sliver of metal. The bubble then burst and the sliver came out. This is an example of what raw and live foods do. If something is not supposed to be in your body, it will be expelled.

Eating cooked food prevents the immune system from working on what is really important in keeping us superbly healthy and young in body, mind and soul. We exhaust and dissipate the body’s strength by using the immune system to combat the unnatural cooked foods, chemically based supplements, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones (in meats, poultry, fish and dairy) and numerous other toxins we ingest, breathe in or absorb through our skin. When we really need the immune system to support us (as when a disease or infection develops or an injury occurs), it then lacks the strength to defend us properly.

Eating healthy means giving your body power foods it can easily assimilate and use for regeneration and rejuvenation. Life comes from life. So the more foods you eat which are organic and straight from nature’s raw garden, the better you are going to feel.”

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This is from Livingfoods.com:
“The first thing that is lost when you cook something is its’ water content. Our bodies are between 60% and 70% water. Vegetables and fruits are loaded with water, and it is structured water that better facilitates our biological processes. Cooking denatures the proteins in our food, rendering them harder to digest and utilize.

Cooking destroys 50 percent of the protein in our food. Between 50 and 80 percent of the vitamins and minerals are also destroyed. Pesticides break down into more toxic compounds, which are more easily assimilated into our bodies. Oxygen is lost and free radicals are produced.

Most importantly, enzymes are destroyed when food is heated above 118 degrees. Enzymes are the catalysts of every chemical reaction in our bodies. Without them, there can be no cellular division, immune system functioning, energy production nor brain activity. No vitamins or hormones can do their work without enzymes. There are two different types of enzymes in our bodies, metabolic enzymes and digestive enzymes. We produce over 100,000 different enzymes, each doing a unique task.

Interestingly, every food contains exactly the perfect mix of digestive enzymes to break it down completely. These are called food enzymes. Nature in its never-ending perfection sees that all food whether flesh, fruit or vegetable, decomposes and returns to the earth from which it came. But cooking our food above 118 degrees destroys its enzymes, leaving our bodies to generate the enzymes necessary to digest it.
There are two main problems with this enzyme destruction. First, our bodies cannot produce enzymes in the perfect mix to metabolize our food as completely as the food enzymes nature creates. This results in partially digested fats, proteins and starches that will clog up our body’s intestinal tract and arteries. The Eskimos are a remarkable example of this. Eskimo means, “one who eats raw.” While living for centuries on a diet that consisted primarily of whale or seal blubber, Eskimos developed no arterial sclerosis. They had almost no heart disease or stroke, and no high blood pressure. Established nutritional doctrine would predict a high incidence of these ailments, but even raw blubber will digest itself completely if it is not cooked and its enzymes are not destroyed. But once you heat even the finest olive oil above 118 degrees, you will not be able to digest it completely. It will clog you up.

More importantly, it has been demonstrated that our bodies produce a finite lifetime supply of enzymes. Every cooked meal we eat causes enzyme production that draws on our finite reserve. A living food meal does not cause this drain.”

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“Even moderate weight gain among persons of normal weight may cause or exacerbate symptoms of reflux.” See Pubmed for the research journal article.

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