12 Important Points Regarding the Raw Food Diet
here are many who tout the raw food diet as one of the healthiest and most healing diets on Earth. Are they correct? Is eating raw much better than eating cooked? Here are some thoughts to consider, along with a summary.
UPDATED: May 3, 2012
Please see our article: Important Notes About the Raw Food Diet – Concerns and Confusion. This article addresses key issues of concern and confusion when one adopts a raw food diet.
An important note to consider regarding the Raw Food Diet: 1. Everyone’s body chemistry is a little different. Some people may do quite well on one diet, while others may do equally well on an entirely different diet. Listen to your own body.
2. Research and practice by a number of medical physicians (MDs) has shown that raw, freshly pressed organic juices along with a specific dietary raw and cooked regimen have resulted in complete patient recovery from such illnesses as heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, depression, Multiple Schlerosis, arthritis, plus a host of other health problems too numerous to mention here.
3. The rawfood diet can be extremely varied. It’s often just a matter of personal preference. What would you prefer? Some rawfoodists espouse the eating of mostly fruit. Other emphasize the addition of superfoods. Others may insist on the necessity of dark green leafy vegetables. Some include nuts and grains while others do not. Some believe in eating raw meat. Some use supplements and “dehydrated” raw foods, which others may proclaim are not “true” raw foods. Some believe that one must consume 100% raw food in order to do a body good. We recommend what suits you best with the emphasis on eating as much raw as you feel comfortable with.
4. Many limiting diets such as the rawfood diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies simply because of the lack of knowledge and experience. Education and turning to long term successful rawfooders for guidance can help. And, it’s always advisable to consult with your doctor or health professional. Some of the most trusted references with excellent credentials include:
Charlotte Gerson, Daughter of Dr. Max Gerson
Dr. Gabriel Cousens
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman M.D.
All the above are accredited medical doctors except for Charlotte Gerson. However, her father, Dr. Max Gerson was one of the most noted and revered medical researchers in the treatment and healing of cancer as well as one of the original proponents of raw juices.
What We Believe Are Some of the Best Raw Foods
All organic (as much as possible):
Sprouted grains made into Sun, Essene type breads
Soaked and sprouted nuts (moderation)
Lots of leafy green vegetables (generous proportions)
A wide variety of vegetables in season (generous proportions)
A wide variety of fruits in season (generous proportions)
Juices as a supplementary measure (Some may not require this)
Smoothies and Shakes, Blended
Some might add:
Fresh, raw milk from Grassfed cows
Fresh and lightly seared, rare meat from clean, humanely raised naturally fed free range livestock
Fresh eggs from naturally and humanely raised chickens
Raw, freshly pressed linseed or flaxseed oil (Very small amounts)
Raw sea vegetables (rare, as most are sundried or dehydrated)
5. It has been said that since our primal ancestors subsisted on solely uncooked foods, so should we. Primates in the wild do not cook, nor seldom if ever get the opportunity to “stick their finger” into meat cooked during a forest fire. Primates with similar DNA to humans subsist very well on raw foods, and much less optimally on cooked foods.
6. Primates may eat throughout the day, chewing and digesting for many hours. Today’s humans most often do not have the opportunity nor time to do the same. Therefore, an all raw diet consumed at leisure throughout the day is a virtual impossibility for modern man.
7. Raw foods often have high levels of natural occurring vitamins, nutrients and enzymes often lost through heating. Before many enzymes are eventually deactivated or destroyed in the stomach by hydrochloric acid, they are able to help process and aid in the uptake of vital nutrients in the gut. Enzymes can be taken up by the body, absorbed or used by the liver, which already contains vast amounts of metabolic enzymes. Naturally occurring fruit and vegetable enzymes can aid in digestion and absorption.
8. Heat treating fruits and vegetables alters their chemistry and makeup. For example, proteins (which most all vegetables contain in some form and proportion) are denatured during the cooking process, becoming more difficult for the digestive tract to separate, digest and assimilate. Heating destroys enzymes and changes the chemical make up of a number of fragile nutrient components.
9. Cooked foods can definitely sustain life and provide bountiful nutrition. However, it has been shown over and over again that once disease has set in and one’s health has been compromised, raw foods (especially when juiced) contribute greatly to advanced and accelerated recuperation and recovery. This could possibly be attributed to dense nutrient bioavailability contained within fresh, raw, liquid juices. Additionally, the less work the body has to do to breakdown fiber and extract nutrients, the sooner nutrients pass into the bloodstream to nourish regenerating cells.
10. Raw foods are in their most natural state, as God and Nature intended. Life on Earth has acclimated and adapted to these raw foods for innumerable millenia, generation upon generation. Our physical bodies have yet to fully acclimate to a cooked diet. But in time, it could be possible to subsist of solely cooked foods if all raw foods were eliminated and only those who were able to procreate yielded more adaptive offspring.
11. There are many who have developed allergies and sensitivities to grain. The offending allergen is often gluten. We have found that natural organic, non GMO, non hybridized, treated grains less likely to cause reactions. We note one friend who had lifelong wheat allergies in the United States, but upon moving to Sweden, lost all such allergies. However, upon return, redeveloped the same allergies when he consumed American non-organic grain and dairy products.
12. If one finds a need to eat cooked foods, by all means, one should avoid feeling remiss or having guilt. A little of this, a little of that, in most all things, can cause little harm. Gradually, one may find that more and more raw is quite suitable and comfortable. That said, Dr. Esselstyn discovered that consumption of meat, fats, avocados, oils and prepared nuts seemed to exacerbate heart attack and stroke reoccurances. Evidently, fats and meats may bring health complications.
aw foods seems to offer optimal nutrient benefit when partially concentrated in juice form as well as eaten in reasonable and balanced quantity. The reason that juicing may be necessary is because of time required to chew and consume sufficient quantities of fibrous vegetables during average modern alloted mealtimes.
If one can eat and chew throughout the day, it is most likely that the raw food diet offers optimal nutrition over and above a “cooked food” diet. This has been found to be true with animal studies. (We deplore the hurting of any animals in research.)
With the raw diet, it’s important to consume a well balanced, variety of raw foods, including sprouted whole grains, sprouted nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables and perhaps a small amount of sprouted legumes. Some legumes must be cooked before consumption. However, peas and green beans are fine, raw.
It is also important to eat in sufficient quantity. This is where juicing, food processors, and blending come in. Blender drinks such as smoothies and shakes are an excellent way to obtain plenty of nutrition. Those with health problems may wish to juice rather than blend, as fiber slows nutrient absorption rates.
Click HERE for our optimal green drink recipe.
If you are embarking upon a raw food diet, be sure to read and research as much as you can. Become informed. Ask us – we’ll help guide you to resources, and we will be posting more and more information.
Make changes gradually minimizes side effects. Sudden dietary changes can cause digestive upset. Remember that it’s not necessary to choose 100% of any style of eating or living. Do what feels best for your body. Try and feel what your body’s reactions are to certain types of foods.
In the beginning, the more raw foods you consume, the more likely you may have reactions and flareups. A raw diet can often seem to bring up a number of symptoms of mild discomfort. This can often be caused by what some might call, “detoxification.”
This is simply the body’s method of readjustment, sometimes releasing fats and byproducts into your bloodstream for elimination.
Be easy on yourself. Gentle does it.
As always, we recommend that you always consult with your medical professional for the final word on what’s best for your you and your health.
Knowledge is Power.
In All Things, Know Moderation.
Balance is Key.
Be kind to yourself.
Health has much to do with your mood and state of mind as your physical body.