Characteristics and Benefits of Raw Food
Raw Food is Alive
Heat kills food and destroys the life force in plants and animals. This life force is intact in raw food so this energy is transferred to our body. Anyone presenting with fatigue, depression, chronic fatigue or a virus infection such as hepatitis C will see a change in their energy level.
- Raw food is enzyme and oxygen rich, non toxic an anti inflammatory.
- Heat destroys the life force, destroys enzymes, removes oxygen from plants and change their biochemistry to new compounds that are toxic.
Sprouting seeds, nuts, beans and grains prior to consuming them, increases the liveness of food and destroys enzymes inhibitors. Almonds can be soaked overnight and used to make a milk or as a snack. Buckwheat may be soaked and sprouted and made into bread. Garbanzo beans can be sprouted for a couple of days and made into hummus. Pates can be made from sprouted lentils or other beans. Ann Wigmore was the pioneer in the sprouting movement.
Seeds contain enzyme inhibitors. The inhibitors are not present in the fleshy portions of fruits or in the leaves and stems of vegetables. For instance, the eyes of potatoes.
There are two ways to destroy enzyme inhibitors. The first is cooking; however, this also destroys the enzymes. The second way, which is preferable, is sprouting. This destroys the enzyme inhibitors and also increases the enzyme content from a factor of three to six.
Some foods, like soybeans, must be especially well heated to destroy the inhibitors. For example, many of the soy flours and powders on the market were not heated enough to destroy the inhibitors.
Ann Wigmore Living Food Lifestyle
Ann Wigmore developed the Living Foods Lifestyle to overcome disease and improve the quality of life. She believed that there are two main causes of disease: deficiency and toxicity. Our bodies are deficient because we cannot get the nutrients we need from indigestible cooked food. Our bodies become toxic from eating unnatural, processed, and pesticide-tainted foods, as well as through destructive emotions and stress. Living Foods, which are easy to digest and rich in nutrients, address this deficiency. The Living Foods Lifestyle also addresses the problem of toxemia: when the body isn’t using all its energy to digest food, it can turn to other tasks, such as releasing stored toxins and healing.
Living Foods are preferably organically grown foods consumed in their original, uncooked state. Living Foods are prepared without cooking because cooking destroys the enzyme life force. The Living Foods Lifestyle is vegan: it uses no meat, dairy, or any other animal product.
However, Living Foods are not simply raw foods. Because many people cannot digest raw foods. Living Foods are prepared in a way that makes them easy for the body to assimilate and extract optimal nourishment. Living Foods include young greens; sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains; cultured preparations; and dehydrated foods. Fresh wheat grass juice adds an unparalleled level of nutrition, vitality, and health.
The cornerstone of the Living Foods Lifestyle is Energy Soup, a blended mixture of greens, sprouts, vegetables, Rejuvelac, and dulse. Energy soup is a complete meal, containing every nutrient in a balanced form that the body needs. When she developed the Hippocrates diet, Ann Wigmore advocated juicing fruits and vegetables as a way to obtain optimal nourishment. However, in her later years, she became a proponent of blending foods rather than juicing them. The only juices she used were watermelon and wheat grass. She believed that juices can be too cleansing for most people’s bodies. “Blending helps the body to clean itself and thus it restores health much quicker than just eating the foods as salads, yet it does not overtax the system with the rapid cleansing action of juices,” she wrote. “Also, juices do not contain fiber. Separating the fiber and other elements from the juice results in a food that is not as balanced as Nature would have it.”
Another key component of the Living Foods Lifestyle is freshly juiced wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice is an effective healer because it contains chlorophyll, all minerals known to man, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K. Wheatgrass is extremely rich in protein, and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
As a child, Dr. Ann Wigmore learned about natural healing from her grandmother, who used plants, grasses, and herbs to heal soldiers injured in World War I. When, at age 50, she learned she had colon cancer, she turned to raw greens, blended seeds, and grains. Within a year, she was cancer-free. She began researching the healing properties of grasses, and soon settled on wheat grass as her main focus. The Living Foods Lifestyle uses wheat grass as a nutritious elixir, as well as for colon cleansing.
Rejuvelac™, a drink made from cultured wheat berries or other grains, is one of the most important elements in the Living Foods Lifestyle. Because it contains a high level of enzymes, it aids in digestion. Rejuvelac™ replaces the missing enzymes that cooked foods have taken out. It contains friendly bacteria that is necessary for a healthy colon, which helps to remove toxins. It also is filled with vitamins B, C, and E, as well as enzymes.
Heat Destroys Enzymes
Whenever food is prepared through conventional cooking methods like baking, boiling, steaming, frying, deep frying, broiling, grilling etc. the enzymes in the food are destroyed by the heat of the cooking method. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 117 degrees Fahrenheit. When we boil food (212°F), bake food (350-420°F), pan fry , deep fry (365-375°F), or broil (400°F +) the enzymes in the food are 100% destroyed. If enzymes were retained in the food we eat, they would do some or even a considerable part of the work of digestion by themselves. However, when you eat cooked, enzyme-free food, this forces the body itself to make the enzymes needed for digestion. This depletes the body’s limited enzyme capacity.
There is evidence that rats on a cooked diet have a pancreas about twice as heavy as rats on a raw diet. Moreover, evidence shows that the human pancreas is one of the heaviest in the animal kingdom, when you adjust for total body weight. This over enlargement of the human pancreas is just as dangerous — probably even more so — than an over enlargement of the heart, the thyroid and so on. The overproduction of enzymes in humans is a pathological adaptation to a diet of enzyme-free foods.
The pancreas is not the only part of the body that over secretes enzymes when the diet is cooked. In addition, there are the human salivary glands, which produce enzymes to a degree never found in wild animals on their natural foods. In fact, some animals on a raw diet do not have any enzymes at all in their saliva. The cow and sheep produce torrents of saliva with no enzymes in it.
Another effect associated with food enzyme deficiency is that the size of the brain decreases. In addition, the thyroid over enlarges, even in the presence of adequate iodine. This has been shown in a number of species.
Heat Creates Toxic Compounds
There are numerous chemical changes that take place in nutrients as excessive heat is applied. Heat breaks down vitamins, amino acids and produces undesirable cross-linkages in proteins, particularly in meat. When food is cooked above 117 degrees F for three minutes or longer, the following deleterious changes begin:
- Proteins coagulate, denaturation of protein change the molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids,
- Carbohydrates caramelize
- Overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known)
- Natural fibers break down, cellulose is completely changed from its natural condition: it loses its ability to sweep the alimentary canal clean.
Chemical Reactions Affecting Oils and Proteins
HNE, a toxic compound is formed in cooking unsaturated oils and it increases with reheating.
The toxin in question — 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE) — collects in high amounts in polyunsaturated oils that have linoleic acid, which include canola, corn, soybean and sunflower. However, HNE doesn’t form in saturated oils coming from animal fat. This compound increases with each heating period.
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat.
It is ironic that the desired dark crust on bread is a result of the Maillard browning reaction that is known to reduce the nutritional value of bread. Maillard reaction products appear to have no nutritional value for the mammalian system. In fact, they may be of toxicological concern, as studies have also shown them to raise cholesterol. The Maillard reaction primarily affects the basic amino acids of which lysine is particularly significant. Maillard reactions are complex and are responsible for the odors and flavors of freshly baked products.
Like caramelization, it is a form of non-enzymatic browning. The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar reacts with the nucleophilic amino group of the amino acid, and forms a variety of interesting but poorly characterized molecules responsible for a range of odors and flavors.
Acrylamide forms as a result of unknown chemical reactions during high-temperature baking or frying. Raw or even boiled potatoes test negative for the chemical. Acrylamide was accidentally discovered in foods in April 2002 by scientists in Sweden when they found large amounts of the chemical in starchy foods, such as potato chips, French fries and bread that had been heated (production of acrylamide in the heating process was shown to be temperature-dependant). It was not found in food which had been boiled in foods that were not heated. There is evidence that exposure to large doses can cause damage to the male reproductive glands. In addition, the acrylamide monomer is a potent neurotoxin. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have urged the FDA to inform the public of the risks from acrylamide in different foods, and to work with industry and academia to understand how acrylamide is formed and how to prevent its formation. Acrylamides are carcinogenic compounds.
Via heat, the body does not have the recombinant ability to utilize damaged denatured protein components (amino acids) and rebuild them once again into viable protein molecules.
Chemically digested protein can be reused, whereas most of the heat denatured protein molecules cannot.
When proteins are subjected to high heat during cooking, enzyme resistant linkages are formed between the amino acid chains. The body cannot separate these amino acids. What the body cannot use, it must eliminate. Cooked proteins become a source of toxicity: dead organic waste material acted upon and elaborated by bacterial flora.
Carbohydrates caramelize. Bake some yams or sweet potatoes. Notice the sweet sticky goo oozing from the skin that partially turns to ash from the excessive heat. You are witnessing sugar molecules (carbohydrates) caramelizing, fusing together like sticky molasses. Similar to protein coagulation, caramelization also occurs on a microscopic level when all foods are sufficiently heated, whether or not it is witnessed.
When complex carbohydrate sugar molecules are caramelized or fused together, amylases (digestive enzymes) cannot cleave them into constituent simple sugars for use as an energy source. Not only are they unavailable, but the heat turns them into an ash-like toxin.
Raw Food is Highly Digestible
Plants contain enzymes that are used to begin digestion. Enzymes are proteins and get destroyed by heat.
Enzymes are needed for digestion but they are more than that. Enzymes are substances which make life possible. They are needed for every chemical reaction that occurs in our body. Without enzymes, no activity at all would take place: vitamins, minerals, and hormones cannot do any work without enzymes.
Think of it this way: Enzymes are the “labor force” that builds your body just like construction workers are the labor force that builds your house. You may have all the necessary building materials and lumber, but to build a house you need workers, which represent the vital life element.
Similarly, you may have all the nutrients — vitamins, proteins, minerals, etc., for your body, but you still need the enzymes — the life element — to keep the body alive and well.
Raw Food is Highly Absorbable
Cooked food causes gut inflammation and raw food does not cause any inflammation.
Undigested Food Can Weaken the Immune System and Cause Gut Inflammation
When the body is so sensitive to a particular food it can’t properly digest it. The undigested food finds its way into the bloodstream where the immune system targets it as a foreign invader and attacks it.
Studies suggest that people with food sensitivities have leakier intestinal walls than those without sensitivities, which means that a greater than average number of food particles can pass into the bloodstream. This seems to create a vicious cycle because the inflammation that occurs with the immune response can make the intestinal walls even leakier, especially if there is a localized allergic response to the undigested food. Over time, this cascade effect can overwhelm the immune system.
Higher Level of Oxygen
We live in an oxygen deprived planet the levels of oxygen are decreasing dramatically. Disease proliferate only where there is not enough oxygen for cells to be healthy. Raw foods contain an abundance of oxygen. In cooked foods, oxygen is destroyed.
Raw Food Tastes Good
The taste of raw food is very different from cooked foods. It is fresher and more intense.
Raw Food Is Creative
There is no tradition of raw food and a few raw chefs have paved the way with delicious new recipes inspired with the old culinary traditions from all over the world. Salads have no limits on the possibilities of vegetable combinations.
Raw Food Is International
Each country has a tradition of one or two original raw food recipes and it is an exciting experience for the palate to explore new tastes taking us to faraway places.
Warm/Cold Raw Food
Raw food can be warmed in the dehydrator or hot water can be poured over some vegetables to make a warm soup.
Raw Foods Are Not Addictive
Forms of Raw Foods
Appetizers: Chips, stuffed mushrooms, marinated vegetables
Salads: Cole slaw, Green papaya salad, Guacamole, Thai salad
Wraps: Crepes, Lebanese wraps, Nori rolls
Main dishes: Spaghetti, Lasagnas, Pizzas, Burgers
Clinical Uses of Raw Nutrition
- The Gerson therapy and Ann Wigmore programs have been used to recover from CANCER
- AUTOIMMUNE ILLNESS SUCH AS Multiple Sclerosis
- WEIGHT LOSS and Eating disorders
- Bacterial infection such as HEPATITIS C
- Depression and Anxiety
- Recovery from addictive behaviors
Raw Food Detox Diet
There are a number of diet plans based on Raw Foods. Generally these diets are plant-based, and are comprised of at least 75% raw food. Apparently raw foods contain the enzymes that are thought to be removed during the cooking process.
A Raw Food diet is generally made up fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, dried fruit and juices, rolled or flaked grains, herbs and spices. Some people add cooked grains and legumes, good quality fish and poultry (although a number “raw food-ers” are strict vegans).
Sample Meal Plan
- Breakfast: Green smoothy with kale, Swiss chard, papaya, banana, coconut water and coconut meat. Mueslie and fresh fruits
- Lunch: Mixed salad of various leaves, tomatoes, yellow capsicums, onions and parsley with olive oil and lime dressing. topped with sprouted lentils. Sushi rolls, Avocado Soup.
- Dinner: Mexican dinner with tacos made of coconut,vegetable pate, avocado. Frozen banana and durion sorbet
- Drinks: Water, juices, fruit and green smoothies, coconut milk
Discover The Many Benefits of Raw Foods & Gain More Energy Through Our Detox Diet Program
What are the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet?
- Increased energy
- Improved skin appearance
- Better digestion
- Weight balance: loss or weight gain depending on the needs
- Reduced risk of heart disease.The raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet. It is also low in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and health-promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals. These properties are associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For example, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.
What are the Guidelines of the Raw Food Diet?
1. What can I eat?
Unprocessed, preferably organic, whole foods such as:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruit
- Unprocessed organic or natural foods
- Freshly juiced fruit and vegetables
- Purified water
- Young coconut milk
- At least 75% of food consumed should not be heated over 116 degrees F
2. What cooking techniques are used?
Specific cooking techniques make foods more digestible and add variety to the diet, including:
- Sprouting seeds, grains, and beans
- Juicing fruit and vegetables
- Soaking nuts and dried fruit
- Dehydrating food
3. What equipment can I use?
- A dehydrator, a piece of equipment that blows air through food at a temperature of less than 116 degrees F.
- A good-quality juice extractor for juicing fruit and vegetables (read article on juicers and juicing)
- A blender, food processor, or chopper to save time
- Large glass containers to soak and sprout seeds, grains, and beans
- Mason jars for storing sprouts and other food
Some people experience a detoxification reaction when they start the raw food diet, especially if their previous diet was rich in meat, sugar, and caffeine. Mild headaches, nausea, and cravings can occur but usually last for several days.
The raw food diet may not be appropriate for certain people, such as:
- Pregnant or nursing women
- People with anemia
- People at risk for osteoporosis – A Washington University study found that people following a raw food diet had lower bone mass. Bone turnover rates, however, were similar to the group that ate a standard American diet.
- Considerable time, energy, and commitment is needed to be healthy on the raw food diet. All foods are made from scratch. Some ingredients may be hard to find, such as Rejuvelac (the fermented liquid drained from sprouted grains), sprouted flour, date sugar, young coconut milk, carob powder and Celtic sea salt.
- People must be aware that certain nutritional deficiencies can occur on the raw food diet, including: Calcium, Iron, vit B12 (The Journal of Nutrition study found that a raw food diet increased levels of homocysteine due to vitamin B-12 deficiency), Protein and Calories.
The Benefits of Raw Foods
More and more people are turning to a raw food diet, no longer cooking their food but eating raw salads, greens, fruit, nuts and seeds. Some people are 100% raw, others settle for a 70% raw – 30% cooked diet.
Great health claims are made for the benefits of ‘living’ food, whilst health scares are more and more associated with cooking food. As with many health issues, it depends on whom you want to listen too and whom you want to believe as to how you may feel about the issue.
One thing is becoming clear (or has been clear for ages, some might say) – that eating uncooked oils has major health benefits, whilst heating oils is known to destroy the goodness, and in some cases turn the oil carcinogenic. Uncooked oils may include cold pressed olive oil, flax oil, soya, hemp or walnut oil, and if used in their raw state, undamaged by heat, light or age, can have major health benefits. This is because the oils can be metabolized easily and used efficiently. Once cooked, however, the molecular structure is changed, and the body struggles to metabolize the fats. This is one of the reasons that people on a high fat raw food vegan diet do not put on weight.
For further information about oils and fats, see Udo Erasmus’s book, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. This ground breaking book is considered by many to be the best on the subject of oils, fats and human health.
To Learn More About Our Strategically Designed Highly Beneficial Program & Raw Food Detox Diet, Call 808-933-4400!
The human race learned long ago that cooking meat before eating it would protect them from certain diseases. Since then this practice of cooking has grown to include all types of foods and is now considered an art. Very few meals are eaten which include raw elements, except for the leafy green salad.
One advantage of eating raw is that it brings Nature’s intentions into focus. When I speak of eating raw I am referring to fruit, nuts, and vegetables, which taste good to the majority of humankind in their basic simplicity direct from tree, bush or vine.
I realize it isn’t easy to simply abandon thousands of years of tradition and revert back to 100% raw food. Margaret Mead once said, “It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” So to the point, there are 10 advantages to a diet of fresh, whole raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which may lead you to find a greater place for them in your diet.
- Raw foods are better quality, therefore you eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs. The heat of cooking depletes vitamins, damages proteins and fats, and destroys enzymes which benefit digestion. As your percentage of raw foods increases you feel satisfied and have more energy on smaller meals because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients, and fiber to meet your body’s needs.
- Raw foods have more flavor than cooked foods so there is no need to add salt, sugar, spices, or other condiments that can irritate your digestion system or over stimulate other organs.
- Raw foods take very little preparation so you spend less time in the kitchen. Even a child of 5 or 6 can prepare most items for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This gives children a sense of self-esteem and independence, not to mention the break it gives Mom or Dad.
- When you are eating raw there’s little chance of burns, unless you’re in the middle of a forest fire or out in the sun too long. Just think! No burns to tongues, the roof of your mouth, or fingers, and many fewer house fires.
- Cleaning up after a raw meal is a snap. No baked-on oils or crusty messes. And any inedible parts go directly to the compost pile.
- Eating a diet of raw foods can reverse or stop the advance of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Remember, cooking creates free radicals, which are the major cause of cancer. When you lower the number of free radicals your cells are bombarded with, you lower your risk of cancer.
- A raw food diet can protect you from acute diseases such as colds, flu, measles, etc. Raw foods maintain a healthy body and a healthy body will not become diseased.
- As long as you combine raw food properly according to the rules of Natural Hygiene, you will soon reach a level where you no longer suffer from heartburn, gas, indigestion or constipation.
- It is environmentally sound. With humanity on a diet of raw foods, the food industry would close up shop and take up organic gardening. This would save us enormous amounts of natural resources used to produce power for these industries. Nuclear power would be clearly unnecessary. And think of how many trees and oil reserves could be saved without the need for the paper and plastics used in packaging our processed foods. There would also be less carbon dioxide released in to the atmosphere when all the cooking stopped and more oxygen produced from all the new orchards and gardens, thus helping to reverse the Greenhouse Effect.
- Eating raw saves you money on food, vitamins, pots and pans, appliances, doctor bills, drugs, and health insurance.
So don’t waste your food, yourself, and our planet by cooking what you eat. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables which are whole, fresh and raw are brimming with life and have the ability to transmit their life force directly to you.
Susan Jorg, Estacada, OR