The consumption of raw, fresh foods means unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, not the eating of raw meats such as chicken. The idea of cooking the foods destroys enzymes which the body needs to break down and absorb the nutrients. Raw food have several health benefits to include more energy, better digestion, healthier skin, weight loss, as well as reduced risk for heart disease. By including more raw foods into your diet you will get the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, along with the enzymes and much needed fiber that our society needs. Some raw foods are to include whole grains, beans, nuts, dried fruits, and not to exclude seaweed, sprouts and seeds. Some basic guidelines from the American Dietetic Association are to eat 8 serving of calcium-rich foods like figs, bok choy, cabbage, and soybeans. Good sources of iron from legumes, cashews, and almonds.
Cooking destroys vitamins by boiling out vitamin C being poured down the drain in the water or peeled off in the skins. Potassium that most do not get enough in our diets (and no you can’t just eat a banana but that is a start! avocados and sweet potatoes have contain more potassium than a banana) is effected by heat and lose it potential. This process also destroys antioxidants that we need to help with pain and inflammation that we all suffer from just from poor eating habits. Fiber is another helpful nutrient we need that we do not seem to get enough of (35g a day) which helps with cleansing toxins and weight loss!!
Raw foods require more chewing improving the muscles and strengthening teeth, not to mention the saliva that help break down foods and aids in the whole digestion procedures. The consumption of more raw foods has been proven to help with cholesterol and many other disorders that you can search for at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Additional Web Resources
- The Beyond Vegetarianism site offers a useful selection of information, including a section linking to research on raw foods.
- The www.rawfoods.com website offers a great selection of recipes and online tools. Remember that many of the articles are written by members of the public so may or may not contain reliable information and may contain claims that conflict with FDA regulations.
- Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
- Mother Earth News pastured egg nutrients and free-range eggs.
- Nibbles for Health: Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children
- Introduction to Traditional Diet Pyramids
- The Nutrition Source – Healthy Eating Pyramid
- National Organic Program
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