Eating raw food offers a number of unexpected improvements to your quality of life. For one thing, energy levels are increased dramatically with the raw food diet. For another, raw foodists report noticeably sharpened mental clarity starting about 1 week into the diet. In this article, we’ll cover three ways that raw food can improve your cognitive function.
1. Removing toxins from your diet
When you cook your food, you introduce toxins into your diet. These toxins take a number of different chemical forms, the most common of which are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). When food is browned on a grill or in a toaster, a chemical reaction takes place binding sugars and proteins together to create these toxins. When these materials get stuck in your system, they produce an inflammatory response. Consumption of these materials has been associated with aging of the skin, brain, and internal organs, along with associated diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. By eating raw food, you eliminate intake of these items from your diet. Mental clarity is increased because your body has lower levels of systemic inflammation. You can think of it as the difference between having a headache and taking an aspirin to make it go away so you can concentrate. Energy levels are also increased because of the diminished load on your liver.
2. Removing unwanted hormones
This point applies to vegans as well. When you eat meat, you are typically consuming food from female or castrated male animals. When you eat dairy, you are eating something that came out of a pregnant or lactating cow. Even if you are eating fully organic, hormone-free meats and dairy, at baseline you are still tilting your balance toward higher levels of estrogen consumption. Vegans and raw foodists often report increased feelings of relaxation, peace, and ease when these influences are removed from the diet. Impulsive and irrational behavior becomes less common. Menstrual cycles also take on much greater regularity.
3. Increasing depth of sleep
When you eat meat for dinner and go to bed a couple of hours later, your body is still processing a huge load of animal protein. For instance, when you eat a big steak dinner and then feel like falling asleep, your body is mobilizing blood flow to the stomach in order to manage the digestive workload. When you eat raw food, your body is managing materials that are much more easily digested. You are also getting a much higher intake of fiber, which speeds digestion along. As a result, sleep cycles can deepen substantially. When I eat raw food, I enjoy a greatly increased restfulness of sleep, and I am much more likely to remember dreams on waking up. Because memory and mental clarity is largely formed during deep sleep cycles, stringing together night after night of clear sleeping can strongly improve your focus.
Let’s summarize: when you eat raw foods, you take a huge load off of your system. This energy you once used for processing toxins or acting out the anxieties and urges of animal proteins can now be reclaimed and used for higher levels of productivity.