Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
Many raw foodists achieve a quantum leap in their overall health, as well as their emotional and mental well-being that far surpasses the absence of disease. Let's take a look at the Top 10 most important benefits of eating raw foods:
#1 - Raw foods are highly nutritious
Raw foods are the most densely nutritious and hydrating foods on the planet. Fruits and vegetable are nature's perfect food, chock full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. They are naturally anti-inflammatory, and fruits are especially high in antioxidant value. The fact that they are produced by nature, and not highly refined and filled with synthetic chemicals manufactured in a lab, clearly tells us something.
#2 - Raw foods can prevent & reverse chronic conditions
A diet high in the Dirty Dozen, which are the primary foods on the standard American diet, directly correlates with the skyrocketing rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Eating a raw food diet can both prevent and reverse the progression of many chronic diseases, including autoimmune conditions. There are clinics throughout the world and several in the US (such as the Gerson Institute in San Diego) that offer raw food diets specifically for the treatment of chronic disease, where thousands of people have recovered from diseases that traditional medicine considers "incurable."
Raw food diets are also naturally alkalizing, creating a more difficult environment for disease to exist in.
- The root cause of sickness: The Body Healer protocol
- Raw foods can heal disease: Healing with raw foods
- The Dirty Dozen: What they are & why you should avoid them
- The acid/alkaline balance: How it affects your health
Not only do raw foods improve your health, but they have a significant impact on digestion and elimination. Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, gas, and indigestion all but disappear as bowel movements become regular and inflammation is reduced and eliminated. Because many raw foods are naturally high in fiber, constipation is especially addressed. Many food allergies and sensitivities that are the root cause of chronic inflammation are dramatically reduced or eliminated because the foods causing them are eliminated.
As the skin is the largest organ of the body, many skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, and other forms of inflammation also clear up.
#3 - Raw foods need little preparation
The wonderful thing about raw foods is that nature presents them in perfect packages. All you have to do is peel, chop, slice, or eat whole. If you have blender or food processor, you can make an endless variety of smoothies and dishes, and if you have a juicer, you can make fresh fruit juices to your heart's content.
One of the biggest misconceptions about raw food living is that it takes "too much preparation." This is not true at all! In many cases, the exact opposite is true as no cooking time is required. The time consuming factor is often associated with sprouting and dehydrating, both of which are unnecessary on a raw food diet. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and you can quickly whip up a simple meal, OR you can choose to create a time-consuming gourmet delight using one of the many raw food "uncook books" available.
You do not need to use an oven, or stove-top, or microwave. Not only does that save on electricity, but you never have to worry about leaving the stove on by accident, or getting burned...!
#4 - Raw foods are not processed or chemicalized
As a culture, we are steadily eating our way towards poor health and chronic disease, with the ever-increasing amounts of cooked foods, processed foods, chemicals, pesticides, artificial coloring/flavoring, hormone and antibiotic ridden foods, irradiated, and genetically modified foods on the Standard American Diet.
Most of the food we eat is seriously damaged before it gets anywhere near our mouths. The result is the staggering cost of ever-increasing healthcare needs, and a population filled with either chronically sick individuals, or those well on their way to a chronic disease.
As most processed and packaged foods are the biggest culprits, a raw food diet not only eliminates many of these harmful compounds, it helps the body to begin the process of detoxifying years of accumulated toxic waste. This is especially the case if the food you eat is organic, and is the reason why many completely heal their bodies on a predominantly raw food diet.
#5 - Cost of sickness vs. savings of health
Because a raw food diet does not include any highly processed and toxic foods common on the standard American diet, nor should it include a cornucopia of expensive supplements (pay no attention to "raw gurus" who try to convince you otherwise), this translates to a significant cost saving in doctor's bills, medications, and health insurance. You also save money on the cost of supplements.
- Healthcare: The toxic state of the US healthcare system
- Drugs: Why the US has become a medicated nation
But although you can put a price on these things, what you cannot put a price on is the debilitating stress and premature aging we experience when we suffer from chronic diseases, and the life we shorten as a result.
#6 - Raw foods digest rapidly
An incredible amount of energy is used by the body during digestion and elimination - biologists estimate it to be over 50%. On a diet filled with low-fat raw foods, we not only eliminate toxic compounds from processed food, but the food transit time is much quicker.
When we eat an unhealthy diet filled with unhealthy chemicals that the body must work overtime to remove, carbohydrates and proteins take much longer to digest in our bodies. This longer transit time causes carbohydrates to ferment and proteins to putrefy, significantly increasing our likelihood of gastrointestinal issues (gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.) and colon-related diseases such as IBS. Colon cancer rates have skyrocketed because of unhealthy eating habits that have drastically impacted the health of the colon.
#7 - Raw foods increase the use of facial muscles!
It may not seem obvious, but the consistency of cooked food is much softer and smushier than raw foods. When we chew firm and crunchy foods, we greatly increase the use of thousands of tiny muscles throughout our face, contributing to good facial tone. A steady diet of soft, cooked foods can contribute to the atrophy of the facial muscles and saggy skin. Chewing raw foods is a natural form of facial exercise!
#8 - No cooking means no cookware chemicals
Popular cookware used in cooking releases toxic chemicals. Studies have shown that when heated, certain types of cookware release particles into food that contribute to cancer. These tiny particles of aluminum, copper, teflon, iron, lead, nickel, enamel, etc. contribute to the carcinogenic load in the body.
#9 - Raw foods are enzyme rich
Enzymes are needed for every single chemical reaction that occurs in the body. They act as catalysts to convert the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the food we eat into nutrients that the body can assimilate. There are three types of enzymes:
- Metabolic enzymes (manufactured by the body)
- Digestive enzymes (manufactured by the body)
- Enzymes present in raw foods (that help us predigest our food)
The enzymes in raw foods are fully intact, helping our bodies to digest the food with minimal effort. When we destroy these enzymes through high temperature cooking and food refining, the body must use its own supply of enzymes to digest the food.
By consuming plenty of raw foods rich in enzymes, the less the body has to work to produce its own enzymes for digestion. On a diet of predominantly cooked foods, we deplete our enzyme potential earlier in life and we lose our ability to properly digest food. As we get older, we are then forced to become reliant on probiotics and external supplementation to help us digest and assimilate foods.
& the health of our pancreas, brain, and other organs:
The Body Healer Protocol...
The destruction of these important food enzymes during pasteurization is why many people have difficulty digesting pasteurized milk products (which have been denatured, and the enzymes destroyed by the high temperatures of pasteurization) and yet do not experience the same digestive problem drinking raw milk.
#10 - Weight Loss
When approached correctly, a raw food diet will naturally remove all excess weight. It is not more complicated than that. When I say "correctly" I mean when we approach the diet with an understanding of how to avoid the pitfalls. Done right, a raw food diet has the highest nutrient potential and the lowest calories per bite. Because most fruits and vegetables are naturally high in fiber and water content, you will also feel full when you eat small quantities of them. Also, every cell in your body receives the benefit of natural hydration from these high-water-content foods.
When we eat nutritionally inferior foods, the body signals "more food" as it cries out for the nutrition it needs. The result is that we overeat. We may feel full, but we are still nutritionally starved.