In 1970, something called the ‘raw-food-movement’ was started by Dr. Ann Wigmore. She believes that eating mainly raw foods could prevent many diseases and improve overall health. Since then eating raw foods have become the norm all over the world. Nowadays healthy raw food is available everywhere, in restaurants and health food stores. Even celebrity chefs are doing it. Even if we do not want to follow along with this ‘raw-food-movement’ it is a fact that our bodies do need some raw vegetables and also raw fruits every day in order for our bodies to function properly.
Some of the benefits of consuming raw foods are:-
- Healthier Nutritional Content: Organic vegetables as well as fruits have a much higher content of nutrition than frozen or canned and even cooked vegetables. The important (minerals, enzymes, vitamins) qualities of food are retained, instead of wasted by the process of cooking them.
- Improved Digestion: Because raw fruits or vegetables are crunchier, we have to chew them longer and harder than cooked variations. Chewing is important as it breaks the food down smaller, it also mixes the saliva (which contains digestive enzymes) with the food before it goes to the stomach. This helps the digestive process.
- Improved Alkalinity: The alkalinity in our bodies is connected to the foods we consume. Consuming only cooked foods can result in an acidic condition inside your body. This impairs the immune-system, thus leading to more illnesses.
- Energy Levels are increased: Raw foods are full of energy straight from the sun. They also contain large amounts of minerals, enzymes, vitamins, etc. A combination of these two things maintains your energy levels during the course of the day.
- Clarity of thoughts: Raw fruits as well as vegetables clear your mind and help you to think more clearly.
- New flavors: If you don’t eat enough raw foods, you should add some into your diet, this will help your meals to be flavorful and bring in a new texture. It will pull you out of your rut and inspire you with new cooking ideas.
- Weight Loss: Adding raw foods to your diet will help you to lose weight, whether you are starting a new diet or just trying to maintain a healthy weight, eating raw foods will help.
About 40 to 80% of what you eat every day should be raw fruits and/or vegetables. In colder climates you could eat raw food late in spring, during summer and in early fall. Then in colder months you can eat cooked foods.
A couple of easy ways to increase your intake of raw foods are:-
- Drink a vegetable smoothie at breakfast, at lunch, as a healthy snack or just on your way to work.
- Eating big salads for either your lunch or your dinner is a good idea. Mix fresh greens and any other vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers. If you want to get creative there are many options, green beans, celery, mushrooms, avocado, radishes etc. The list is endless.
- For a healthy snack, you can have vegetables and a dip.
- Try new things. You can make a wrap stuffed with all kinds of delicious vegetables. Tomato, sprouts, lettuce, cucumber and guacamole.
- For dessert, try eating some fruit salad.
When starting out with this new diet, you should begin slowly as it could cause some digestive discomfort if you change your diet too quickly. Build it up gradually and you’ll soon see the results of eating raw foods.