What are Living and Raw Foods?
The act of heating food over about 115 degrees F destroys enzymes in food. (Enzymes start
to diminish at 106 degrees F). Therefore all cooked food is devoid of enzymes, furthermore cooking food changes the molecular structure of the food which in some cases renders it toxic. Living and raw foods also have much higher nutrient values than the foods that have been cooked because all of the vitamins and minerals are still in tact.
What Are Enzymes?
Enzymes assist in the digestion of foods. They are known to be the "Life-Force" and or "energy" of food.
From the dictionary:
Noun: Any of the various complex organic substances, as pepsin originating from living cells and capable of producing certain chemical changes in organic substances by catalytic action, as in digestion.
Why are Enzymes Important?
Enzymes are important because they assist in the digestion and absorption of food. If you eat food that is devoid of enzymes, your body will not get maximum utilization of the food. This causes waste & toxicity in the body. (Can you guess why over 75% of Americans are overweight?)
Doesn't the acidic ph of the stomach destoy enzymes?
Viktorus Kulvinskas, one of the world's foremost and most experienced active researchers into enzyme nutrition has information showing that stomach acid merely deactivates food enzymes. The enzymes are then reactivated in the more alkaline small intestine. Many people who eat all raw foods, sense a world of healthful difference in energy levels, digestion and connectedness with nature by eating enzyme-rich living foods. When one stops eating cooked protein foods, which require large secretions of stomach acid (which is not healthful for several reasons), their stomach will no longer produce as much stomach acid. (Goodbye acid reflux!!) Many people who eat raw foods eat a lower protein diet and are free from the stomach acid secretions and have much more energy and a lighter disposition.
Is there a difference between living foods and raw foods?
Living and Raw foods both contain enzymes. In living foods, the enzyme
content is much higher. Raw, unsprouted nuts contain enzymes in a "dormant"
state. To activate the enzymes contained in almonds, for example, soak them
in water for about 8 hours. Once the almonds begin to sprout, the enzymes become "active" and are then considered living.
What about Organic Foods?
When juicing or eating foods, it is very important to choose organically grown produce whenever possible. "Conventional" or "industrial" produce are grown with pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other chemicals that are toxic and/or harmful to your body. Organic foods are grown without the use of these harmful substances, taste better, and are more nutritious.
Do I need to eat all organic to be raw?
No, you do not need to eat all organic to be raw. Raw Food Rehab recommends eating as much locally grown and organic food as possible. It has been shown that organic produce contains less pesticide and other toxic residues. In addition, it has been shown that organic food may taste better and contain more nutrition. However, we believe its better to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables than processed foods, which is an important issue.
Will rinsing wash off the pesticide from industrially grown produce?
Rinsing with cool water will remove some surface pesticide residue, but not the pesticide that was absorbed into the produce as it was grown. Some of the most severely tainted types of produce are strawberries and bell peppers. Some of the least tainted: carrots and avocados.
Is this a fad diet or something?
Not at all! Consider the following: during the vast majority of our existence on this planet, what choices did we have for food? What COULD we have eaten before we discovered fire, tools and implements to kill animals? The original diet for us MUST have consisted primarily of vegetables, fruits, and nuts! What other choices did we have? A raw, plant based diet is the main food staple throughout the vast majority of the history of humankind. Before Humans started killing and eating dead animal carcass, we ate fruits, leaves, nuts, berries, etc...
Is this just another another name for a vegetarian or vegan diet?
In our opinion, this is the ULTIMATE vegetarian/vegan diet. The benefits of approaching eating in this way are out of this world! Once you embrace a raw and living foods diet, you are more living, have more energy, better health, think more clearly, and become more in tune with your body! This type of diet even gives you a "competitive edge" over people that eat life-less food.
What is the difference between a raw food & vegetarian diet?
Vegetarians and vegans believe in only eating a plant based diet.
Living and Raw Foodists typically eat only uncooked, unheated, unprocessed and organic plant based foods.
What is a Living Foodist or Raw Foodist?
The standard answer is a person who eats 75% or more living/raw food.. The more, the better. Optimally one should eat as close to 100% raw and living foods as it feels right for them.
Is a 100% living and raw food diet best?
That depends on the person. AT Raw Food Rehab we believe life should not be about 100% raw food, but about 100% health. You can be "unhealthy" and eat 100% raw food, if you are not eating the correct raw foods. In addition, the stress that can be caused by "screwing up" or "falling off the wagon" can be worse than eating a high percentage raw food diet, with "better" cooked alternatives.
Is there just one type of living/raw foodist?
There are many subcategories of living/raw foodists. Some include:
Fruitarian - People who consume mostly fruits.
Sproutarian - People who consume mostly sprouts.
Juicearian - People who consume mostly fresh juice.
Why would someone want to eat a raw and living foods diet?
There are many reasons why people eat a raw and living foods diet.
Persons embracing this type of diet invariably experience improvements in their general physical and mental status, including more energy, better health, more energy , weight loss, detoxification, and a sturdier immune system that better resists and recovers from just about any kind of disease... and the list goes on...
: Since you are no longer cooking, you don't waste the same amount of electricity, and you help save the environment. Eating organic agriculture, also helps to save the planet. Most become more in-tune with their body; many report definite spiritual improvements. For most raw foodists, no animal products are used, so the animals appreciate it.
What do raw/living foodists eat?
Raw and Living Foodist eat all fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, sea vegetables, and other organic/natural foods that have not been processed. In some instances, there are special ways to prepare the foods (example: most raw and living foodists soak/sprout nuts, seeds and grains before consuming them). For some delicious recipes, check out our Kitchen
which has a growing list of raw food recipes ! Also Goneraw
is another quick and easy recipe resource.
How can you tell if something is a raw/living food?
Most foods that have not been processed in any way, shape or form are raw and living foods (until cooked). Processed foods (canned, bottled or prepackaged) are most often adulterated, (changed from their original state) by heating, additives, preservatives, colorings, salt, and sugar. Don't think this is all for your benefit; the benefactor is the manufacturer's profit margin, NOT YOU. Try to purchase foods that are in their natural state.
What do raw and living foodists drink?
Water (purified water - not tap water), Freshly made juices (made with your own juicer - and consumed immediately), coconut water (from a young coconuts), are some of the liquids living and raw foodists drink. Most all drinks purchased at the store have been processed (Including: soda, bottled juices, coffee, alcohol, and most others) and are not recommended in a living / raw foodist diet.
Do raw and living foodists drink tea?
Some living and raw foodists will drink herbal teas. The healing properties in many herbal teas are health giving and restorative. A great way is to keep it totally raw is to grow your own herbs and dry them at a low temperature, and use them for sun teas.
Are certain raw foods better than others?
Yes. We believe one should focus on eating the majority of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a focus on leafy greens and vibrantly colorful produce. All other raw foods (such as nuts, seeds, etc) should be minimized. Fresher foods are always best. Ones that you grow yourself, or purchase at a farmers market, are much fresher than foods purchased in the grocery or health food store.
Where do raw and living foodist get their protein?
The WHO (World Health Organization) says humans need about 5% of their daily calories to come from protein to be healthy. The USDA puts this figure at 6.5%. On average, fruits have about 5% of their calories from protein. Vegetables have from 20-50% of their calories from protein. Sprouted seeds, beans, and grains contain from 10-25% of their calories from protein. So if you are eating any variety of living plant foods, you are getting more than adequate protein. Numerous scientific studies have shown the daily need for protein to be about 25-35 grams per day. So if you ate 2,000 calories per day, and ate raw plant foods that had an average of 10% of their calories from protein, you would get 200 calories worth of protein, or 50 grams. This is more than adequate to support optimal well-being. Other studies have shown that heat treating a protein (such as with cooking) makes about half of it unusable to the human body. So raw plant food protein is even a better source than cooked plant foods or animal foods. There is still a huge, foolish, misguided idea that plant protein is not "complete". This is based on studies done on rats in the 1940's. This false conclusion was drawn before we discovered the bodies protein recycling mechanism and its ability to "complete" any amino acid mix from our bodies amino acid pool, no matter what the amino acid composition of a meal consumed. This false idea is still perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries, in an attempt to influence people to continue consuming their truly health destroying products.
Hopefully this has helped to answer some of your questions, but please feel free to leave more in the comment section below and we'll try to address them as soon as possible!!
This article was adapted from Living-Foods.com