Eating in the Raw
No, don't worry...we're not talking about eating raw foods such as meat and fish, nor only raw foods such as celery sticks or salads. There are many healthy, vitamin-packed raw vegetables that taste better and are more nutritious in their fresh state, rather than cooked. Raw foods also include a wide variety of luscious fruits and crunchy, flavorful nuts and seeds.
You can even enjoy raw foods blended into juices and smoothies, or in dehydrated form as dried fruits or vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes. With proper cooking techniques, however, you can also include raw vegetables (as opposed to canned or frozen) in soups, so you can consume the nutrient-enriched water or low-sodium vegetable broth in the soup along with the vegetables. Eating raw foods in these various forms provides numerous benefits. Yummy Raw Foods Recipes
Specific Benefits of Eating Raw Foods:
- One of the primary benefits of eating raw foods is the increased nutrients you will enjoy from not destroying them in the cooking process; nutrients include potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants.
- Raw food is high in fiber content and low in sugar and fat content.
- Eating raw food contributes to weight loss and fewer problems with hypertension.
- Health benefits, espoused by proponents of "raw foodism," include lower cholesterol, better glucose levels, leaner body build, clearer skin, and higher energy levels and stamina.
- While not conclusive, researchers reviewed findings from 50 or more medical studies showing that eating raw foods tends to lower the risks of a variety of cancers, including bladder, esophageal, gastric, laryngeal, oral, and pharyngeal cancers.
- Another study showed that eating raw foods lowers the risks of heart disease and diabetes, because of lowered concentrations of plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, raw food has lower acidity and fewer damaging compounds; as a result, eating raw foods may reduce inflammation and slow the effects of aging.
- Raw foods are easier to digest and stay in the body's digestive tract for less time than cooked foods--about 24 to 36 hours, compared to an alarming 40 to 100 hours for cooked foods.
- Eating raw foods improves mental clarity and heightens the ability to concentrate.
- Eating raw foods leaves you feeling energized rather than tired, and promotes a more restful night's sleep.
- Raw foods do not build up toxicity in the body, nor cause the body to react by increasing the white blood cell count, as a natural defense of the body's immune system.
- Raw foods are tasty and appealing "as is" with no need to add unhealthy and/or artificial flavorings.
Numerous healthy diet studies also identified other benefits that contrasted with certain "myths" or misunderstandings about eating raw food in controlled research groups:
- Raw foodists rarely exhibited problems with food allergies.
- Raw foodists revealed healthy bones, less inflammation, and no problems with osteoporosis.
- Serum sterols attributed as factors in rheumatoid arthritis decreased in raw food diets and relieved joint pain in subjects with arthritis.
- Raw foods provide significantly more dietary antioxidants than cooked food, especially meats.
- Eating raw foods alleviated symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Eating raw foods improved overall cognitive performance.
- Eating raw foods reduced abdominal obesity and lowered blood pressure.
Summing it Up
It is always best to check with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making dietary changes. However, it is likely he or she will be happy to give you a "thumbs up" on a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods.