Today I would like to discuss raw foods diets, some to the facts, and if it is better for you or not. There has been a lot of opinions flying around about whether raw foods are healthier, so I decided to do some research and see what I could find out. Is it healthy?
First let me explain what is raw food diet is–The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, although the cutoff temperature varies among those in the raw food community. A raw diet consists of organic uncooked and unprocessed in their natural state which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, sprouted seed and fresh sprouts, raw olives, seaweed and green powders. Most people who follow raw food lifestyle are vegan, but some do eat raw animal products such as organic raw milk, cheese made from raw milk, some raw type of raw fish. It is normally considered that 70% or more of their diet is raw for the an individual who chooses to live the raw lifestyle.
Benefits of Eating Raw Foods:
1. They are nutrient-rich: Science now proves that cooking not only destroys nutrition and enzymes, but chemically changes foods from the substances needed for health into acid-forming toxins, free-radicals and poisons that destroy our health! Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate are many times destroyed by heat.
According to Dr. Virgina Vetrano, “Heating any food, destroys much of its vitamin, mineral, and protein content, and poisonous inorganic acids are formed. The all uncooked diet is most healthful.” Please click her for –health101.org/art_raw_foods.htm
2. Raw food improves immune system functioning: Cooked foods can suppress the immune system due to the heat of cooking destroys nucleic acids, and damages fats. This makes them harder to digest and fatty matter becomes an irritant and an oxidant.
3. Raw foods have Loads of Fiber: According to the Mayo Clinic raw foods contain plenty of fiber which helps to prevent constipation, lowers your risk of digestive disorders such as hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Avoid Many Chemicals: We are not getting GMO -genetically modified organisms that we know are highly toxic to our bodies from agriculture that are in many meats and non-organic foods. When foods are cooked the heating process causes pesticides to be restructured into even more toxic compounds.
5. Helps Weight Control: Many raw vegetables contain only 25 calories per cup and fresh fruit average about 60 calories 1/2 cup. Raw foods also are naturally high in water and according to the book Volumetrics by Barbara Rolls, Ph D. and Robert A. Barnett, foods with a high water contain help you to feel full and in turn will help you control your calorie intake.
6. Helps to Control Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease: Raw foods are low in total fats and saturated fats. High fat foods and saturated fats have been linked to high cholesterol levels and a greater risks of heart disease.
Disadvantages according to Dr Weils:
The raw foods group consumed fewer calories than the control group and had a body mass index (BMI) averaging 20 (in the normal range) compared to just over 25 in the control group. While this BMI sounds healthy, 20 was the average, suggesting that it was lower among some of the study participants on the raw foods diet. Those with a BMI of 19.5 or lower are at risk of low bone mineral density because their bones aren’t bearing enough weight, a factor that contributes to bone strength.
“However, I’m not a proponent of the raw foods diet. First of all, when you eat everything raw, you lose much of the best flavor, texture and appearance of food. More importantly, however, is the fact that many of the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables are less bioavailable when you eat these foods raw than when they’re cooked. For example, you can get lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that protects against prostate cancer, only from cooked tomatoes, not from raw ones. The carotenoids in carrots are more bioavailable from cooked carrots than they are from raw ones.”
“Another disadvantage stems from the fact that many of the natural toxins in edible roots, seeds, stems and leaves are destroyed by cooking. Alfalfa sprouts contain canavanine, a natural toxin that can harm the immune system; button mushrooms contain natural carcinogens, and celery produces psoralens, compounds that sensitize the skin to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. All of these are broken down by simple cooking. Although our bodies have natural defenses against these toxins, a raw food diet can add to the toxic load we’re already dealing with.”
Some people use Raw food as a detox diets or cleanses. Typically, individuals go on a detox diet for 3 to 21 days. After the detox diet or cleanse, they may continue a raw food diet, return to their regular diet, or try to improve their daily diet by consuming more raw foods.
Most experts agree that going 100% totally raw is not recommended, but a following a raw diet can have some amazing health benefits if they are uncooked and unprocessed organic foods. In my opinion I believe the raw food diet definitely has some health benefits but I also believe you do not need to eat just raw food diet for good health. I believe eating foods in moderation and using common sense by choosing healthy organic foods of all types can help you live a healthy and balanced life. You need to make your own decision and do what you believe is best for you!
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