We started our 31 Tips: Living a Proactive Lifestyle with Tip #1: Cook from Scratch. But, what if we could save a little time and energy by not cooking all of our food everyday? Today, Tip #8 Eat Raw means just that, pick a few fruits and veggies from Tip #2 and especially more green from Tip #3 and just eat them raw!
6 Reasons to Eat Raw Daily
#1 Enzymes: Enzymes change the food we eat into chemical structures than can pass through cell membranes lining the digestive tract and into the blood stream. Enzymes are the living catalyst that direct the life force into our biochemical and metabolic processes. They help transform and store energy, make active hormones, dissolve fiber and prevent clotting. They have anti-inflammatory effects too. Enzymes help balance and restore the immune system and even help repair our DNA and our RNA. Truth be told we NEED enzymes to live.
Did you know that a raw apple has the enzymes it needs for us to digest it?
When we cook apples, we destroy many of the enzymes that help us naturally digest it. This means we will need to use our own enzyme reserve to digest this apple that is completely capable of digesting itself.
#2 Vitamins: Our cells need vitamins to function properly. They help regulate metabolism, help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bone and tissue.
Guess what happens when you cook food?
You got it, a large percentage of the vitamins are destroyed.
*Viktoras Kulvinskas in his book, Survival into the 21st Century, estimates that the overall nutrient destruction is as high as 80%. Tests have shown that we will lose 50% of the B vitamins while B1 and B12 can lose up to 96%. 97% of folic acid is destroyed as well as 70-80 % of vitamin C.
#3 Minerals: Seventeen of the thirty elements known to be essential to life are metals. Mineral deficiencies cause disease in humans. Minerals also have a synergistic relationship with vitamins. They help each other help us. When foods are cooked, many of the minerals are destroyed, or altered, rendering them useless and also unable to assist our friends the vitamins.
#4 Phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are what give fruits and vegetables their color. Phytos protect the body and fight disease. They also fight cancer and help your heart. They provide the foundation for cell health. And once again, phytonutrients in freshly harvested plant foods can be destroyed or removed by cooking.
#5 Alkalizing: Raw foods have a big impact on the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. Diseases develop more easily within the body when acidity rises, because acid lowers the immune system. Environmental pollutants, stress, processed foods lacking in nutrients all increase the acid. Raw foods help alkalize the body and reduce acidity by neutralizing the acid.
#6 Less Fermentation in the Gut: We want to eat pre-fermented foods like we discussed in Tip #6, but we don’t want the food to ferment in our gut. Raw food is easier for the gut to digest and less likely to ferment.
Why Eat Raw?
It just makes sense that if cooking destroys the vital and essential nutrients that we need to stay healthy, eating our food raw does the opposite. Let Food Be Thy Medicine. Studies have shown that eating raw gives people more energy, more mental focus and I know I would rather THRIVE than just SURVIVE.
How Much Raw?
My goal in writing these 31 Tips: Living a Proactive Lifestyle is to show us all that eating in a balanced way is the most proactive way. If half of your plate is filled with fruit and veggies and a good portion of that is green and you choose some to be raw and some to be lightly cooked you will be eating a healthy meal. You will find adding these raw foods to your diet will help you easily consume lots of superfoods.
Top 10 Raw Foods to Eat Daily
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Ferment veggies (like sauerkraut or kimchi)
Is Raw Food Good For Everyone?
Not all raw veggies are the best option. There are certain foods that cooking actually brings out more nutrients. Squash and sweet potatoes have antioxidants like beta-carotene that are more absorbable cooked and taste better too!
Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens and Brussel sprouts contain goitrogen compounds, which in excess can block thyroid function. Most of these compounds are deactivated by heat and cooking. Also, some studies show peppers and mushrooms to become more nutrient-dense when cooked.
Raw food can also be difficult for some people with sensitive digestive systems and they may be lacking the enzymes needed to break down fibrous vegetable cell walls. This is when less raw foods or taking supplemental enzymes may be necessary.
Putting It All Together
Remember that nourishing our body is the foundation of a healthy body. What you choose to eat each day is making a choice to living a proactive lifestyle.
If you are not sure how proactive you are currently living then I invite you to take the Wellness Quiz to find out your Wellness Score.
If you are interested in learning more about raw food and specifically enzymes click here for Day 14 in our Growing E-Course, we go into much more detail and sources. If you would like to take part in our Free Growing E-Course click here.
***Remember that you are your own best health adviser. Not sure about adding more raw to your diet? Then please do your own research and see if it is right for you and your family. More and more research is showing that we are lacking in the enzymes needed to receive the nourishment from our food we expect.
I am enjoying this write 31 days challenge and I hope that you are finding these tips beneficial to living a more proactive lifestyle.
If you would like to learn more tips, click on the box. I will be adding tips daily.
Shawna Cale, Got-Oils? Administrator
I am a M.O.M: Mom on a Mission to help educate and empower other mom’s to build healthy homes and bodies, and have the energy to do the things they enjoy with their families.