What and Why Raw
What is raw?
My mum first introduced the concept of raw food to me, when she told me about one of her friends only eating raw in order to live disease free. At the time I was young and wasn’t very impressed, in fact I felt bad for that person – my diet consisted mainly of meat and processed burgers so I imagined that a raw diet was basically this, but uncooked, I couldn’t imagine anything worse.My lack of fruit and vegetable intake restricted my understanding of food and the concept of raw. Even though the majority of raw foodists do follow strict plant based diets, I think it’s interesting to look at all of the raw food groups, which include:
Meat (pastrami, carpaccio, corned beef)
Unpasteurised dairy products
Other unpasteurised fermented foods (kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut)
Why is raw beneficial?
Most importantly, food should be eaten the way Mother Nature intended it to be eaten, which is in its natural state, uncooked. She lures us in with colour and smell, and I believe this is her way of showing us what we should eat!
Raw fruit and vegetables all contain their own natural live enzymes, which get destroyed through the process of cooking/heating. The importance of live enzymes is that they allow food to basically self digest, meaning less stress is placed on our digestive system and the food gets broken down properly, which then allows it to be absorbed by our bodies more efficiently. It is important to note that some fruit and vegetables can have certain parts of their nutritional value increased through cooking, but in saying that another element of the food will depreciate, which is another post all on its own.
The key nutrient that cooking hinders is fiber, so this is really important to keep in mind for people who do consume meat and dairy, as fiber is needed in order to push the non-fibrous meats and dairy products through the digestive system. It is also important for people who are looking to lose weight. Fiber is also what makes you feel full and stops you from over eating. Many ancients believed the colon was the river of life or death.
According to health guru Jay Kordich, raw foods take approximately 17 hours to move through our bodies, from point of entry to point of exit. Cooked food on the other hand can take up to 72 hours, and this is where we start to run into a lot of today’s bowel problems such as pain, spasms, gas, bloating, constipation, rectal bleeding, loose and watery stools, diarrhea, even vomiting etc. Once you start to eat raw, you’ll start to mobilise the nasty stuff and clear a lot of these problems.
Cooked food also causes it to lose water content and drives us to a very common problem of dehydration. Raw food however, contains a high water content, which keeps us hydrated, and hydration is really important for the human body considering we are made up of 70% fluids.
Finally, raw foods are alive and hence make you feel more alive! Plants feed from the sun, which fills them with light and energy, which they then pass onto us!
– Nik 51raw.