The Raw Foods ways of eating is not new. A raw foods diet has been in existence since the 1800’s. The diet itself may have looked a bit differently compared to today’s raw foodist way of eating, because this is a diet that depends upon what grows in and around the area. Of course, those who are proponents of this diet, say that it has great health benefits for our overall health and also promotes weight loss. Numerous health experts feel differently about a full-time raw foods diet.
A raw foods diet is a way of eating in which the participants eat nothing but raw fruits, vegetable, nut and seeds. Heat does not touch their food in any way. They may use dehydrators to make certain items like veggie chips or veggie jerkey meats, but that is normally the extent of their “cooking”. There is a lot of preparation needed for a healthy raw foods diet, such as mixing, chopping, and blending. The food processor is well-used in a raw foods kitchen.
The key question here though is, is a raw foods way of eating actually healthier for you than the traditional consumption of some raw and cooked foods together?
The very strong belief that raw foodists have that their diet is the healthiest way of eating, is still not reinforced by science. Research presently shows that both raw and cooked foods have their own benefits. Raw food proponents believe that once you add heat to food it destroys the natural enzymes which are responsible for the benefits we receive from the foods. Enzymes are crucial to our overall health and aid in digestion.
High cooking heat does tend to mutate the enzymes so that they begin to change shape, however, science has proven that enough enzymes do make it to the stomach, where raw or cooked, they still mutate. The body will produce more enzymes on its own to aid in digestion. Cooking certain foods do diminish some of its healthy benefits, but at the same time, cooking other foods, such as tomatoes, helps to increase those benefits.
To summarize: At present, unless you are already on a raw foods diet, then you must decide what is best for you and your family. There are pros and cons within the diet. You must do a lot of preparing of foods so that you always have something nutritious to eat, but you could also be missing out on some vital enzymes that are enhanced by cooking food with heat.
If you are considering the raw foods lifestyle, do your research and determine what your specific body needs to be healthy. Most experienced raw fooodists will tell you not to dive right in, but instead try a couple of raw dinners a week or do a whole couple of days of raw eating to see how your body takes to it, and then decide if you want to make a permanent change.