You see it everywhere nowadays… raw food is in. Is it what we need?
I am all about eating food as close to nature or its original state as possible. And actually, all animals do quite well on raw food–come to think of it, only humans apply heat to what they eat. And most humans don’t live out their lifespan, are overweight, have chronic illnesses… To top it off, pets who are fed cooked and processed food suffer human-like ailments. This is definitely enough for me to wonder if there is a correlation. Does raw food keep the body healthy? Is cooked food toxic?
Some research suggests that a diet of raw food (extreme vegan diet) causes a decrease in bacterial enzymes that have been implicated in colon cancer risk. The other suggestion is that a diet rich in raw vegetables seem to lower the risk of breast and colon cancer, and it seems to lower the risk of deaths from heart attack.
So, I wonder, is it the heating of food that is not good, or the not eating much or any meat that is good? Well, we know that harvested, fresh food provides the raw material to replenish cells and tissues. The life plant and animal tissue does not help the body the same way once it has been cooked as heat breaks down vitamins and amino-acids. Food cooked over 117 degrees F for three minutes or longer tends to cause proteins to coagulate, denature the protein molecular structure, caramelize carbohydrates, break down natural fiber and lots of other not very nice effects. Modern food processing seems to truly strip away natural anticancer agents and create alien food substances that our bodies don’t know what to do with, so it stores it as fat.
Interestingly enough, the more fresh produce you consume, the less food your body will progressively require. The more nutrient rich raw food you eat, the healthier your body will become and its metabolic efficiency increases, as well as its ability to absorb and assimilate more nutrient. Shockingly, only half of the amount of protein from raw plant food is needed rather than from cooked animal protein.
Sometimes, cooked food gives you MORE nutrients for your buck. Iron in cabbage and broccoli is better absorbed when cooked because heat breaks down the cell structure better than chewing.
My take on this? I am just going to increase my raw vegetables and fruit, but I am still sticking with my steak every so often!
Here is a recipe for green raw soup; enjoy!
Green Raw Soup
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 large carrot, finely diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
4 cups fat free vegetable stock
3 cloves roasted garlic
Puree all ingredients, except onions and carrots, in a food processor. Add more or less water to desired consistency. To garnish, add onions and raw