In recent years the raw food diet has been growing in popularity. You may have read about some movie star eating a raw food diet to lose that last ten pounds, hear a short segment about it on the news, or see one of the many authors (such as Ani Phyo) doing an interview about it on a morning talk show. You may have a broad sense of what the term raw food means but are still curious about what it really is. Well, let me explain!
A raw food diet is eating your food in it's most natural state. The idea of the raw food diet is that your food is not heated above 110 degrees to 115 degrees. This way the enzymes are kept in tact, you get the maximum amount of nutrition possible from your food and you do not cook away the water content of your food. Heating food above 115 degrees kills the precious enzymes in food, reduces the nutrients and vitamins, and changes the metabolic structure of our food. Dr. Gabriel Cousens (well known raw food author) states, "Aging happens when enzymes decrease in concentration in the body." By eating raw foods you are automatically cutting out the processed junk food that is so popular in our culture today (white sugar, corn syrup, refined flours, etc). Many people experience pesky health problems going away,as well as growing younger, stronger, and healthier.
Eating raw foods means eating organic foods which are grown without harmful pesticides or herbicides. Organic food has been shown in research studies to contain higher levels of minerals and vitamins which help you avoid adding more harmful chemicals to your body. It may be more expensive to eat organic food but try and think of the big picture of saving money on medical bills in the future. Also, you may be able to find places where you can buy organic for less. In Atlanta I go to the Dekalb Farmers Market, which offers a large variety of organic produce at a fraction of the cost of supermarkets. You could also try growing your own food or finding organic farmers in your area.
Vegans do not consume any animal products such as dairy (milk, cheese, eggs) or meat (including fish), honey is also included in this category but I do consume honey. Some raw foodists do consume raw meat and or raw dairy. However, the majority of raw foodists do not seem to eat any animal products ( some exceptions would be raw model and Carol Alt). I personally have been a vegan for three years. I became a vegan after being convinced from doing research in medical journal articles that it does promote health. By being a vegan I reduce my chances of getting cancer, heart disease, and diabetes by an estimated 40 percent. Research also shows that vegetarians have a longer life expectancy. For a great deal more research supported reasons on why you should be a vegan go to http://www.pcrm.com/ (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).
What is Left to Eat?!?
It may seem like there is not anything left to eat by being a raw food vegan, however there is an abundance of fresh colorful food bursting with flavor and nutrition just waiting to tantalize your taste buds! Foods you will become more accustomed to are fresh fruits, fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, and herbs. There are so many possibilities of wonderful dishes you can create! I hope my blog will open you up to all of the possibilities!
What Does it Mean For You?
In my opinion the most important thing you can do to start creating a healthier life is to start adding more fresh organic fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try subbing a piece of fruit for junk food, eat a big salad before your dinner to fill up with fiber and have delicious fruit smoothies for breakfast! It is okay if you don't want to change everything about how you eat but the more fresh organic fruits and veggies you add to your diet the better!