The Raw Diet Debate – What is it? And is it for me?
The movement towards eating raw was born simply from the understanding that uncooked foods are higher in vitamins and minerals and are easier to digest. Cooking and processing foods reduces the enzymes in the food, which means our bodies are required to use our own enzymes (of which we have a limited number) to help with digestion. This drains us of energy, making us feel sluggish (how many of us have suffered from a “food coma”?!).
In the long run, depleting our bodies of our store of enzymes can have even more serious effects, such as food intolerances, emotional instability, insomnia and more. With so much at stake, it’s understandable that people are searching out alternatives and making the switch from processed foods towards a diet that incorporates more wholesome and nutrient-rich raw foods.
So, What is Raw?
While definitions can vary slightly, it’s generally agreed that raw foods are uncooked, or cooked to temperatures no higher than 48 degrees C. They are also in no way chemically processed, pasteurised, homogenised, genetically modified or otherwise compromised. In short, they are natural foods, in their natural state.
Raw foods include, of course, the obvious organic fruits and vegetables. However, they also incorporate nuts, seeds, gluten free grains as well as fermented products. It’s an incredible variety, and there are now countless resources for great recipes that champion the raw movement.
Should You Go Raw?
It’s not necessary to adhere to a completely raw diet in order to treat your body to the benefits of raw food. Simply incorporating more raw foods into your daily meals is a great way to start. It’s also important to avoid processed foods where possible. Eating more raw foods will help lower your sodium intake, increase your energy levels and promote overall better health.