You may have heard the hype about raw food, read the celebrity interviews, flicked through the raw recipe books, or watched a few YouTube videos. But what makes raw foods different from any of the other latest diet fads, and why should you give it a shot?
Unlike many of the other diet programs doing the rounds, eating raw is actually a very straight-forward and common sense way of eating. So read on for six reasons to introduce more raw foods into your world….
6 Reasons You Should Be Eating Raw Food
1. Look Younger
Raw foods contain enzymes, which act as catalysts in the body and are essential for every chemical reaction to occur. They are present in every living thing, and are destroyed at temperatures over 42 deg C (118 F).
Enzymes are the main factor associated with aging, which is why raw fooders have a tendency to look younger than their years. The more enzymes we have in the body, the more we preserve that youthful appearance and attitude.
2. Have a Stronger Immune System
When we eat cooked food, a phenomenon called leukocytosis occurs. Put simply, this is a low-grade immune response that the body puts into action when it wants to fight what it perceives as an invader.
When we eat foods without cooking them, leukocytosis does not occur. Thus the immune system can build up and get stronger, so when a virus is going around, the body is better equipped to deal with it.
In my family, we haven’t needed to see a medical doctor in over eight years.
3. Raw Food Tastes Amazing!
Many people are under the impression that raw food is boring and some kind of self-denial. In fact, it’s the reverse.
Because the food you’re eating is so healthy, you can eat candy, cakes and desserts without guilt. Raw foods are a very exciting and progressive cuisine: raw food chefs draw from favorites all over the word and interpret them with their own uniquely healthy twist.
OK, I’ll admit, some dishes bear more resemblance to the originals than others. But whichever way you look at it, raw lasagna, pizza, falafel, burgers, noodles, curries, and breads are bursting with life and nutrients, and uncooking foods really allows the flavors to shine through.
4. Raw Foods Are Good for the Planet
Do you wish to do your best for the environment? If the majority of people in Western society switched over to a high raw diet based on unprocessed, locally grown, organic wholefoods, how much would that lessen the impact of food production on the planet? Think of all the savings in energy from processing, resources from less packaging, and environmental pollution from the transportation.
Vegfam, a UK based charity which funds sustainable plant food projects, estimates that a 10-acre farm can support 60 people by growing soybeans, 24 people by growing wheat or 10 people by growing maize – but only two by raising cattle.
This same farm could feed 600 people by growing the superfood Spirulina, a popular blue-green algae supplement full of essential nutrients with ten times the protein of soya!
5. Be Happier
I have been teaching about raw foods for over ten years now, and do you know what the most common benefit that people tell me about is? That they feel happier. Time and time again, people tell me how much more content and joyful they feel by eating this way. I think that alone is enough to sell the diet!
People are happier when eating raw foods because the neurotransmitters in the gut and the brain are inextricably linked, and sending messages back and forth between each other constantly.
Did you know there are actually more serotonin receptors in the gut than the brain? Serotonin is one of the main naturally-occurring chemicals known for its mood-boosting abilities.
The better we treat our guts, the better we feel in ourselves.
6. Be More Attractive
Would you like to constantly get compliments on how well you look, on how you’ve lost weight, how you seem to have a glow and exuberance about you that people feel drawn to and love being around? Would you like people to gasp in disbelief when you tell them your age, or how many children you have? Would you like to have great skin, hair, nails and teeth, and a confident energetic strut as you walk down the street?
Thought so. Eating raw foods can help you do all of this.
If you want to experience these 6 benefits, start by increasing the raw food intake in your diet to 50%. If that feels good, keep increasing it gradually and you will notice more and more benefits. The most important thing is to listen to your body, not to deny yourself your favorite foods, but to trust that over time, you will discover a whole new appetite for healthy eating that will make you feel on top of the world.
Kate Magic is one of the world’s best-loved raw food and superfoods experts. She is the creative director of Raw Living, Europe’s largest online raw and superfoods store and author of the UK’s best-selling raw foods book, Eat Smart, Eat Raw.
Featured photo by SweetOnVeg