Food that has not been cooked is alive and is at the peak of its nutrient and enzyme providing potential. I have been including more and more raw food in my diet and have felt the huge difference it makes. I make sure that I have at least one raw ingredient in each meal. Breakfast is pretty much all raw. I gobble up a raw juice, fruit smoothie or fruit salad. A great way to start the day! Lunch could be raw zucchini noodles with raw pesto or a baked potato with salad. Dinner is often salmon accompanied by a big salad of baby spinach, rocket, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots. Nuts are my ultimate raw snack. They're so easy to grab as a quick bite when you're starving!
Raw food has the following immediate benefits for your body:
- Alkaline forming (acidity in the blood promotes disease formation)
- Energy providing
- Blood sugar stabilising
- Gut healing and cleansing
- Increased mental focus
Raw food is truly amazing and it can really aid in our recovery from relapses and help keep us symptom free.
How Does Raw Food Help?
It Contains Enzymes
Raw food contains an abundance of essential enzymes. Enzymes convert the food we eat into chemical structures that can pass though the membranes of the cells lining the digestive tract and into the blood stream. Their job doesn’t end there. Enzymes are the living proteins that direct the life force into our biochemical and metabolic processes. They help transform and store energy, make active hormones, dissolve fiber and prevent clotting.
Very importantly for us, they have anti-inflammatory effects. Enzymes help balance and restore the immune system, and heal many diseases. Enzymes even help repair our DNA and our RNA. When we cook food, we destroy many of the enzymes that help us naturally digest it. This can also wreak havoc on our digestive systems. So, the more raw food we eat, the more busy little enzymes there will be and the better our bodies will be able to function.
An Abundance of Vitamins
Without vitamins our cells would not function effectively and our organs would suffer and start to shut down. Vitamins help regulate metabolism, help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bone and tissue. They provide us with the energy we need to do our myriad of tasks and get through the day. Many of them are antioxidants which are very important for killing off free radicals.
I'm sure you know what happens when you cook food. Yup, a large percentage of the vitamins are destroyed.
Viktoras Kulvinskas in his book, Survival into the 21st Century, estimates that the overall nutrient destruction is as high as 80%. Tests have shown that we will lose 50% of the B vitamins while B1 and B12 can lose up to 96%. 97% of folic acid is destroyed as well as 70-80 % of vitamin C.
So, when you are cooking vegetables, it's best to lightly steam or stir fry them for 10 minutes or less. There will still be some nutrient loss but not as much as cooking for longer than 10 minutes.
Seventeen of the thirty elements known to be essential to life are metals. Mineral deficiencies cause disease in humans. Minerals also have a synergistic relationship with vitamins. They help each other help us. When foods are cooked, many of the minerals are destroyed, or altered. This renders them useless and makes them unable to help with the absorption of vitamins.
The Beauty of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients give fruits and vegetables their bright and beautiful colours. These little miracle workers protect the body and fight disease. They are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which make us feel great and help us get rid if MS symptoms quicker. They also fight the growth of cancer and help your heart. Obviously, phytonutrients in freshly harvested plant foods can be destroyed or removed by cooking.
Raw Food in Action
I often set aside one week for eating raw food only. I eat loads of raw fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and cold pressed oils. I feel so amazing that I begin to think that I should only be eating raw food, all the time. I can literally feel my body working more efficiently. I am so much more energetic and happy. I also sleep solidly and wake up feeling so much more refreshed. It's a fabulous week of detoxing, cleansing and resetting any bad habits that have crept in!
Including more raw food in your MS diet just makes sense. If cooking destroys the vital and essential nutrients that we need to stay healthy, eating our food raw does the opposite. It provides us with what we need for our health and well being. Here are some of my favourite raw food recipes:
Enjoy including more life giving raw food in your diet. It really will increase your zest for life!
Chat to you soon!