Well raw food would include any naturally grown edible food, vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains and shoots, nuts and seeds. Some raw diets now include meats, fish (ie sushi) and raw milk. It is food which has not been treated with any chemical process, pasteurization or has been damaged within the heating process of cooking.
Raw food has been popular with some groups throughout history, but in the 90s, a real movement took hold and a body of evidence began to grow showing the undoubted health benefits.
Cooking food destroys the natural enzymes and molecular structure. Our bodies have a limited amount of natural enzymes and these help with the digestion of food when we eat; these enzymes are used up in the digestion process and may become depleted over time.
Enzymes are also used to keep our bodies naturally balanced within the ph (potential hydrogen) scale; this is a measurement of acid and alkaline within our body. It is believed that a natural balance of ph is shown as 6.5 to achieve optimum health, (0) is shown as the most acidic state and (14) is seen as the most alkaline.
Some lifestyles and eating habits – cooking food, additives, preservatives, smoking, drinking, high levels of caffeine intake and saturated fats all assist in raising the acidity levels.
To keep our bodies in a more neutralized alkaline state, our body uses minerals naturally from our bones, body fluids and tissues and these become depleted. Thus leading to increased early aging of our bodies, arthritic conditions, viruses etc. which lead to more long term serious illnesses, chronic disease's and suffering.
Cooked food also creates an increase in white blood cells when eaten, which causes your immune system to work harder. (Combining cooked with raw food can prevent this). Not a problem for most people, but it is easy to see that a raw food diet can have a huge impact on those with a compromised immune system.
Most people who have started a raw diet have noticed themselves feeling healthier, have increased energy levels, marked changes in their appearance, a sense of feeling years younger and even weight gain or loss, dependent on what the body requires. In addition, some of these changes have been noticed within days or weeks rather than months or years.
So, eating more healthily with a raw diet will aid in building up the immune system, add more vitamins, will nutritionally balance your ph level and help to prevent disease.
An entirely raw diet may be undesirable for many, and even staunch proponents often consume around an 80 – 90% raw diet. But for everyone, incorporating at least a few raw elements can have significant impact on all round health.
It can also have benefits on the environment, with less use of chemicals and pesticides by farming more organically, using more traditional farming methods, less packaging, produce being purchased more locally, leading to less transportation, which in turn would lead to less carbon emissions .
So, Raw Food? Healthier, all round.
And raw food health supplements can of course also have a role to play