That is a fabulous question... why raw? For most people who are unaware of the Raw movement, eating raw sounds a lot like living off carrot and celery sticks right? WRONG! Raw food is a delicacy of its own and there are absolutely NO limits to experimentation! I eat pizza, burgers, pasta, chips, pudding, chocolate cake, cheesecake...the list goes on... and yes this is ALL RAW AND VEGAN! Ok, but why raw though, what's wrong with cooking? I hear you say...
It seems ridiculous that companies aspire to make products as natural as possible, but in the process they're killing and destroying the very natural ingredients. In today's society we are surrounded by "convenience" foods, but these foods are not doing our bodies ANY good whatsoever. For our body to function properly we need these building blocks: Enzymes, Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Phytonutrients, Protein/Amino acids (essential aminos are those that cannot be produced by the body and must be sourced from food), Essential fats and fiber. All these things are involved in the growth, maintenance and repair of the body.
First... Let's look at Enzymes... We need enzymes to digest food. For every other operation and chemical reaction to take place in our living bodies, we need enzymes as well. Enzymes break down the food we eat into chemical structures so it can pass through the cell membrane lining the digestive tract and into our bloodstream. However their job doesn't stop there. Enzymes are the living proteins that direct life force into our metabolic and biochemical processes. They help make hormones, store and transform energy, dissolve fiber and prevent clotting. they also help in balancing and restoring our immune system and heal many diseases. Our body hosts two types of enzymes; metabolic enzymes which run our bodies, and digestive enzymes which help with the digestion of food. When we heat food over 45°C/118°F it destroys many of these enzymes, affecting our ability to naturally digest the food. Only raw and living foods come with their own enzymes to aid in digestion, and they are responsible for the release of nutrients out of the foods we eat. Enzymes help foods to break down (rot), preservatives are used in foods to prevent this from occurring. These preservatives not only kill the enzymes in the food, but they end up in your body as well, often killing enzymes you already have in there.
Ok, so what about Vitamins? We all know that vitamins are important, but do we really know why? Vitamins enable our cells to function properly, and if they weren't our organs would suffer and eventually we wouldn't be able to survive. Vitamins help to convert fat and carbohydrate into energy, help to regulate metabolism and assist in bone and tissue formation. Guess what happens when you cook food? Yep, you've got it! A large amount of the vitamins are destroyed!
Minerals ... Seventeen out of the thirty elements, essential to life are metals. Mineral deficiencies are so common these days, and they do cause diseases. Minerals also work synergistically with vitamins. They help each other to help us, but when you cook food you are destroying or altering many of the minerals in that food also. This causes them to be useless and no assistance for our friends, vitamins.
What are Phytonutrients you ask? They are what gives fruit and vegetables their colour. Phytos protect our body and help fight off disease. They provide medicine if you will, for our cell health, and again, phytonutrients in fresh fruit and vegetables can be destroyed through cooking.
So doesn't it just make sense that if cooking our food destroys the vital and essential nutrients we require in order to stay healthy, that eating raw foods will do the exact opposite? I know that for me, when I am eating a lot of raw food I have more energy, I feel happier, healthy and more motivated as well. Having said that, I want to make one thing here clear... Taking a holistic view on this whole situation, I believe it is VITAL to listen to your body. Sometimes I just want a really hot curry, and brown rice. Sometimes I feel like baked sweet potato fries... Sometimes I want a veggie burger! I will not deprive myself of these things if my body is really craving it. 100% Raw may work for some, and for others it may come as quite a challenge, but what I want to do, is educate you so that we can all make a confident and informed decision to incorporate MORE raw into our diets and reap the benefits.
Experimenting with Raw food is the best way to go about taking your first step. I will be posting lots of yummy recipes and I will also do some posts on my favourite Raw Foodists, and people I really look up to in the Raw food world. There are a few kitchen appliances you need to really thrive on Raw food, but for experimenting there is plenty you can do with just a great set of knives and a blender...
So with no further adue, I leave you to ponder... This is where the real fun begins because I will be uploading Raw recipes galore!! Until then, Happy Saturday! :)
♥ LOVE BEC ♥