Raw Food - The healthiest option!
by Gustavo Morales
(Long Beach, Ca)
Why eat raw food?
Vibrant health is closely tied to having the proper knowledge about the healthiest food choices and by choosing to eat them as a main staple of the diet. A plant based diet of mostly raw food in its natural state can provide adequate nutrition, promote longevity, and can protect a person’s health. With a higher awareness of what’s healthy and what’s not, one can choose the food that is best suited to provide adequate health. Even if someone is staying away from Junk food they may still be missing out on many key nutrients only found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Key nutrients are omitted from the diet if one chooses not to eat a high ratio of raw food. Respected Health and nutrition researcher Dr. T. Colin Campbell held a study called the china study and replied, "People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease ... People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease…these results could not be ignored,” (Par. 9). Such information seems to support that consumption of plant based raw food is healthier than other forms of food.
What is raw food?
Eating a majority of raw food for health is called raw foodism. An article about diet on webmd.com describes raw foodism as “plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed…are also the most wholesome for the body” (par. 2). When eating a raw food diet there is much variety available, this allows for many different colors and tastes to be enjoyed. Fresh fruits are one of the main constituents in this type of diet. Vegetables contain many nutrients not found in fruit and are the second main food source for most raw food consumers. Some food is eaten less frequently due to their high energy and caloric content such as nuts, seeds, and oils. Some raw food can be seen as a medicinal when it contains powerful constituents such as sprouts with their springing life energy and herbs with their organ stimulating properties. Knowing what raw food consists of is only half the battle, one must also know what processed food consists of as well. Processed food is any food that is cooked over 118 degrees Fahrenheit and food that has been processed by machines or by other unnatural methods. Food exposed to pesticides and food that has been genetically modified should be seen as processed food as well.
What kind of nutrition is available when eating raw food?
In regards to nutrition, raw food contains an abundance of nutrients needed to support life. A healthy level of carbohydrates that is needed by our bodies is found in raw food. Fiber which is needed for proper digestion is found in its soluble and insoluble forms in plants. Fat is usually neglected in most people’s diets due to much acclaim on low fat diets. Fat is essential for proper health and is found in healthy proportions in nuts and some fruit. Nutrition Counselor Deborah Burke has said “Avocados, fresh coconut, and extra virgin olive oil are also good sources of fat” (Par 1). There is protein found in raw plant food and it is easier to digest than other forms of protein because it is usually found in amino acid form. When vitamins and minerals come from a raw plant source it is found to be readily digestible. Powerful antioxidants, which may fight against free radicals that negatively affect the body, can be found
in raw food.
What kind of health benefits does eating raw food provide?
There are health conditions that can be positively affected by consistently eating a raw food diet. Constipation is a digestive disorder that affects many Americans because of lack of dietary nutrition. Fiber found in raw food acts like a broom as it passes through the colon and can sweep away unwanted fecal matter. The water content found in most raw food can increase the speed of digestion and may alleviate constipation. Acidosis is a condition that affects a person because of a potential hydrogen (ph) imbalance in the body. Ph balance can be achieved by eating the right amounts of acid and alkaline raw food. The Department of Physiology at the University of Kuopio in Finland has stated “It appears that the adoption of vegan diet exemplified by the living food leads to a lessening of several health risk factors to cardiovascular diseases and cancer” (par. 1). This leads to the idea that a person choosing a raw food diet can avoid devastating health conditions.
Raw food controversy?
Some people may think that the raw food lifestyle is hard to keep up with due to social influence when one is dining out. Yet still with a little preparation in mind one can overcome the pressure of dining out in a social setting. Another controversy with eating a raw food diet is that a person staying away from milk and dairy products may not get enough vitamin D, yet just spending some time in the sun everyday can avoid this problem. An essential vitamin that some believe to only be found in animal derived food is vitamin b12, but according to Nature the International journal of Science “many algae are rich in vitamin B12 “(Par. 1). Buying organic food and healthy options can become expensive and this may scare off people interested in eating a raw food diet. Considering the price and pain associated with health problems, investing in a raw food diet can become a valuable asset in anyone’s life. Vibrant health should be maintained with a proper diet, yet some still choose to eat unhealthy options. For the best results when searching for vibrant health one must take control over their own health as opposed to relying on heredity and circumstance. The knowledge needed to achieve optimum health is available to all. With the use of such advancements such as the internet healthful information is at ones fingertips. Board Certified Internist Dr. Simon Yu, M.D. states that “raw food promotes cellular repair” while “processed and cooked food promotes cellular and physical degeneration” (Par 6). By choosing to learn more about natural unprocessed food and putting forth the effort to consume the healthiest food available, one may enjoy and experience the best state of health possible.
Burke, Debra. “Diet and menu topics” The Franklin Institute: Resources for Science Learning. The Franklin Institute Online, 2004. Web. 14 Oct, 2011.
Campbell, Thomas. The China Study: Startling implications for diet, weight loss and long term health. BenBella Books, 2005. The China Study. Web. 15 October 2011.
“Healthy Eating and Diet” Web MD. Web MD medical reference. 20 Feb. 2010. Web. 17 Oct, 2011.
Smith, Allison. “Algae acquire vitamin B12 through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria.” Nature. 3 Nov. 2005. Web. 14 Oct. 2011.
“Vegan diet in physiological health promotion” Pub Med. Us national library of medicine, 1999.Web. 14 Oct. 2011.
Yu, Simon, M.D. “Raw food more powerful than most medicines.” Prevention and Healing, Inc. PDF file.