The Power of Raw Foods

By: Lola Frailey

Want more energy, more satisfying food, and better immune response? Try incorporating some more raw foods into your diet!

You don’t have to go on a restrictive diet to start enjoying more raw foods. Just adding some more fresh and dehydrated fruits and vegetables to your diet can make a big difference. In particular, adding raw, organic Noni Fruit Leather to your diet can hugely improve your overall health and well-being.

Keep reading to learn more about raw foods, and how they can improve your quality of life.

What’s the Definition of a “Raw Food?”

fruit

In general, a raw food is simply a food that hasn’t been cooked. Many raw foodists talk about food that’s “alive.” Specifically, raw food refers to  food which has been kept below 115 degrees.

Raw foods can be eaten fresh, juiced, pureed, or dehydrated. There’s a wide variety of recipes, substitutions, and creative combinations out there.

Types of Raw Foods

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Unroasted nuts
  • Sprouted grains
  • Seeds

Some raw foodists also include animal products like organic eggs, organic raw yogurt, raw fish, and even raw meat. Obviously there are significant dangers associated with eating raw animal products, and most raw foodists are vegan.

What Happens to Food When It’s Cooked?

Different kinds of foods react differently to being cooked, but cooking always dramatically changes the chemical composition of food. In general, cooking maximizes the amount of calories a person gets from food, while limiting the nutrition that can be extracted.

This easy access to calories allowed our primitive ancestors to have significant advantages over other species, but, in our modern lifestyle, eating too much cooked food gives us a lot of calories for just a little nutrition. Not ideal for weight-loss, sustained energy, healthy blood sugar levels, or good digestion.

Vitamins

The human body needs a wide variety of vitamins for good health, including the important antioxidants in Vitamins A and C. Many vitamins are destroyed by heat, particularly Vitamins C, B1, B5, B6, and B9. In particular, pasteurized products, including juices, lose a huge amount of Vitamin C.

Enzymes

Enzymes break down raw foods. They’re the reason that foods spoil — they’re being broken up and fermented by enzymes. When you eat fresh, raw food, those enzymes go to work helping your body fully digest the nutrients in the food you eat. That’s why it can be good to finish a meal with a raw salad!

Enzymes are incredibly heat-sensitive, however. When you preserve food by canning or pasteurization, part of what you’re doing is eliminating the enzymes that would cause the food to spoil. But your body misses them!

How to Incorporate More Raw Food Into Your Diet

You don’t have to switch to a fully raw diet to get substantial nutritional benefits. Here are a few easy ways to get your daily dose of raw!

  • Switch out a few breakfasts per week for a homemade raw green smoothie or juice
  • Add a small fresh salad to your lunch
  • Snack on whole, raw fruit, or dehydrated fruit
  • Learn some easy raw side dishes