November 8, 2007
RAW FOOD DIET: RAW FOOD FACTS by Alissa Cohen
What is raw and living food?
Raw and living food is uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains. There are also some other foods that fall within this category such as seaweeds, raw carob powder, cold pressed olive oil and certain spices and seasonings. Whole, ripe, raw, organic foods in their natural state are what help to keep us healthy, vibrant and free of sickness and disease.
What are the benefits of eating a living and raw food diet?
The benefits of eating a raw and living food diet are too numerous to mention in entirety. The living and raw food diet has helped many people feel better when nothing else has worked.
Many people have healed themselves of diseases and ailments such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, acne, migraines, back pain, neck and joint pain, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, colitis, diverticulitis, Candida, arthritis, serious allergies, depression, anxiety, mood swings, heartburn, gas, bloating, skin diseases, obesity, chronic fatigue, cancers and many more. Excess weight seems to just melt off your body when you eat a raw and living food diet!
By eating a raw and living food diet you will begin to turn back the hands of time. By eating a raw and living food diet you will start to look younger and more beautiful. You could turn your hair back to its natural color and stop hair loss. You could erase wrinkles and deep creases and age spots, your circles, bags and eye puffiness would disappear. Your acne and blemishes would be gone. Your teeth would be tighter and your gums would stop bleeding and your skin would glow and your eyes would sparkle. You would notice that you look better without make-up and that you have a natural sunny blush. People eating a raw food diet are the healthiest looking people I have ever seen. They have a glow in their skin, a shine to their hair, a sparkle in their eyes, a healthy, fit, body and look younger than their age. They have a youthful energy and they feel good about themselves and happy to be alive!
If you are sick, tired, overweight or just want to feel better than you do right now, know that this way of eating could be the answer to your prayers. Does it sound like I’m promising a lot? Well, I am because I have seen this raw diet work time and time again. This has been one of the greatest miracles in my life and in the lives of other people whom I’ve shared this with.
Why is raw and living food healthier than cooked food?
Giving up cooked food and switching to a raw and living food diet has helped so many people feel well for the first time in their lives. One of the most amazing things that I have witnessed is how quickly this can happen. Feeling healthier, losing weight and healing your body doesn’t take years or months or even weeks on this diet. You will notice changes within days. When you eat a raw and living food diet you are feeding your body and your cells live foods filled with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other life giving substances that cooking destroys.
There are many factors why raw foods improve health but enzymes and acid alkaline balance are probably the two most important ones.
When food is cooked at over 112 degrees (this temperature can be felt as warm to the touch) we destroy all of its enzymes. This is a problem because we need enzymes for every function in our body. To walk, to talk, to breathe and to move; life itself depends on them. As we age, our bodies natural source of enzymes becomes depleted and we need to replenish this source through the foods we eat. If we do not do this and we continue to eat cooked foods, then we eventually begin to use up our body’s enzyme reserves. Cooking makes it harder for our bodies to break up and digest the foods that we eat. This food then begins to get stored in our bodies as toxins; which can lead to all kinds of diseases and illness.
Dr. Humbart Santillo, M.D., states in his book Intuitive Eating that:
“A human being is not maintained by food intake alone, but rather by what is digested. Every food must be broken down by enzymes to simpler building blocks. Enzymes may be divided into 2 groups, exogenous (found in raw food) and endogenous (produced within our bodies.) The more one gets of the exogenous enzymes, the less will have to be borrowed from other metabolic processes and supplied by the pancreas. The enzymes contained in raw food actually aid in the digestion of that same food when it is chewed. One can live many years on a cooked food diet, but eventually this will cause cellular enzyme exhaustion which lays the foundation for a weak immune system and ultimately disease.”
When we are born we are given a limited amount of enzyme energy that has to last us a lifetime. Think of this as your enzyme bank account. If we do not make regular deposits to this account from eating exogenous enzymes that are found in raw foods and we continue to eat cooked foods that use up our enzyme supply, we become more susceptible to aging, disease and premature death.
The enzymes that are destroyed in cooking food are detrimental in so many ways. Not only does it affect our immune system but also our brain function and our energy levels.
Dr. Edward Howell in his book Enzyme Nutrition says:
“Humans eating an enzyme less diet use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in lavish secretions of the pancreas and other digestive organs. The result is a shortened lifespan (65 years or less as compared with 100 or more), illness, and lower resistance to stress of all types, psychological and environmental. By eating foods with their enzymes intact and by supplementing cooked foods with enzyme capsules we can stop abnormal and pathological aging processes.”
Acid Alkaline Balance:
There is so much to say on this subject. Here is a very brief overview so you can begin to think about what kind of effect the foods you eat have on the acid-alkaline balance in your body. An over acid body is found in most people with acute or chronic diseases. Some common symptoms of an overly acid body are arthritis, depression, headaches, lethargy, gastritis, dulled mentality, canker sores, fatigue, muscle stiffness, stomach aches, chest pain, constipation, irritability, sinus problems, acid reflex, restless sleep and so much more. But an overly acid body can lead to many more serious health problems. For example, cancer cells are able to live better than normal cells in an acid environment.
Dr. Ted Morter states:
“When your body is too acid for too long, it plays the game of life with a lineup of backup systems. These backups are either substitute minerals, or ammonia. When your body is too acid -when your normal pH is too low - the systems and organs of your body work overtime just to stay even. But systems and organs aren’t designed to function flat-out in red-alert mode all the time. They need rest just as you do. If the red - alert goes on for months or even years, systems and organs become exhausted. An exhausted body can’t compete with disease. Eventually, disease wins the game.”
How does our body become too acidic? Diet is the major factor. A diet that is too high in acid forming food will cause the body to become too acidic. And what are acid forming foods? Sadly, the typical American diet of high protein flesh foods, high sugar, high fat and low complex carbohydrates is acid forming. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, white sugars, flour products, pasta, breads, most cooked grains, most beans, most nuts, candy, soda, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, chemical additives, preservatives, drugs and synthetic vitamins are all acid forming. So how do we get our bodies at the right pH balance and create an internal environment that is slightly alkaline? We can do this by eliminating acid producing foods and eating a diet that is high in raw fruits and vegetables. I say raw because when you cook food it makes it more acidic. When you eat a diet that is made up of raw fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts, seeds and grains you will begin to shift that acid state to a more alkaline state.
What does someone's daily diet look like when they are eating raw and living food?
The diet of someone eating a raw diet varies according to the person; just as no two people who eat cooked food eat the same.
Whole fruits, smoothies or fruit and vegetable juices are a great way to start the day.
For lunch and dinner there are so many raw food dishes that you could make. Just as it is impossible to list all of the cooked food entrees that people eat, so too would it be impossible to list all of the options available for lunches and dinners. The choices for desserts are so numerous and delicious; when made from raw and living food, there is no guilt and no need to abstain. There are times when I have eaten a whole banana cream pie for lunch. Raw pasta, banana and almond butter sandwiches, fettuccini alfredo, burgers, large salads with guacamole and corn chowder are some of my favorite lunch or dinner items.
There are over 300 recipes in Living on Live Food; Hors d’oeuvres; spanakopita (spinach pie) and jicama fries. Breads, muffins and crackers; apple muffins, onion bagel bread and Mexican crackers. Soups; coconut soup, chili and watermelon soup. Dips and spreads; hummus, refried beans and spinach dip. Salads; Italian tomato basil salad and pear beet and jicama salad along with dressings like Japanese salad dressing and green goddess dressing. Entree's; spinach pizza, BBQ chicken fingers, sushi, crab cakes and meatballs. Desserts; blueberry pie, black forest cake, carrot cake, cannoli and fudge. Fruit drinks, vegetable drinks, smoothies and so much more!
Why don't I have to count calories or fat grams? How can I eat avocados, nuts and other high fat foods on this diet and still lose weight?
There is a huge difference between cooked fats and raw fats.
The studies that have been done linking fats to high cancer rates, heart attacks, kidney failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, cardiovascular disease and all of the other diseases that clog up the blood and the arteries have been done with cooked fats. Obesity is linked to a high cooked fat diet.
Raw plant fats on the other hand, have exactly the opposite effect. Raw fats such as avocados, olives, coconuts, nuts and seeds are imperative in a healthy diet. These fats contain antioxidants. They contain oils that help the joints, nerves and bones.
These raw plant fats do not cause the body to gain excess weight because they still contain the enzyme lipase; this is the enzyme that is needed to digest fat. Cooking fats destroy lipase; along with other important enzymes and minerals. The fat digesting enzyme, lipase, breaks up the raw plant foods as they are eaten and help to digest the oils in these foods. Because this food is getting assimilated and digested properly, it is not clogging up the blood and arteries, causing all kinds of chronic and degenerative diseases. It is not getting stored as excess weight in the body. You will not get fat by eating avocados, sprouted nuts and seeds and other plant fats. When I first started this diet I was eating 2-3 avocados a day and losing weight. I didn’t have much weight to lose, but the few extra pounds I had just melted off because I was eating fats in their whole natural form with all of their enzymes intact.