More and more everyday we hear of people who decide to go vegan or go raw, or both. Why are so many health conscious people going raw vegan? I think the health crisis we are living, the quality of food available today, and the corporate mafia are forcing us to take our health in our own hands.
Whether it is by doing small changes, or by going all the way, we should all stop and think about the relationship between what we eat and our overall health. When we talk about going vegan or raw vegan, most people’s reaction is to think you are an extremist, and then, the first thing that comes to my mind is a quote from Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn in the movie Forks Over Knives: “Some people think the “plant-based, whole foods diet” is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.”
The health problems caused by the SAD, Standard North American Diet, touch us everyday in one way or another. This has led to more people wanting to learn more about the relationship between diet and health. Highly processed foods produce acidify our bodies, making us vulnerable to disease and decay. While on the other side of the spectrum, fresh raw alkaline foods help alkalize our body, hence helping prevent disease, slow down aging and improve our appearance and energy levels.
With that said, a raw diet makes sense because it is based on a principle of eating live food with alkalizing effects in the body. Now please note that the purpose of this article is not to convince you to embrace a raw vegan diet today. This is a decision that has to be made consciously, and informedly. People who go raw vegan without understanding their body’s nutritional needs, and how to fulfill them, may fall into deficiencies that will be dangerous to their health.
The reason for choosing raw over cooked food is beneficial enzymes in food can be damaged or destroyed in the cooking process. Of course not all cooking is the same, traditional home cooking, not exceeding 118 degrees Fahrenheit is much less taxing on the nutritional value of food that microwaving or industrial processing. Microwaving, pasteurizing, or cooking at high temperatures lower the PH of foods making them more acidic, dehydrating them, and breaking down starch.
Some processes for preparing your that are a great help in eating healthier, and that protect the nutritional value of food are Blending or juicing, sprouting, and dehydrating. Blending and juicing allow you to consume more raw vegetables and fruits in a concentrated form. Sprouting allows you to consume foods at the time when the enzymatic activity in them is at its peak, and their nutritional value is optimized. And dehydrating is a great way to eat produce off season, and maintain a healthy diet year round.
Some of the benefits of eating raw are:
- Nutrition, as we mentioned before, raw foods have more live nutrients that are bio-available when we eat them. This means, these nutrients get in our system, and benefit our health. Some vitamins, like A, C, D, E, and K get broken down when cooked, and become harder to absorb by our system. Same thing happens with vitamins B1, B2, and a few other B-complex vitamins.
- Health, this comes hand in hand with nutrition. When you are getting more nutrition from the food you eat, and when that food is having an alkalizing effect in your body, you will be better able to improve your health. Whether it is to prevent disease, or to cope with disease, the nutrition and alkalizing effect you get from raw alkaline foods will benefit you.
- Energy, just like it happens with a sports car, that runs better with the better fuel, your body does run better with better food. Remember what we eat is fuel. If we eat overly processed foods, this actually drains energy from our system, as it tries to digest them. On the other hand, if we eat foods rich in water, minerals and nutrients, these will feed our energy resources, and reinvigorate us.
- Appearance, the anti-oxidant benefits or a raw diet help slow down the aging process, and help give you a healthier glow. The appearance of your skin, hair and nails benefits from the nutrients in raw foods. Raw foods also help maintain a healthy weight, so for those of you tired of the yoyo dieting, eating live food may be a good answer.
- Environmental impact, this is something that to me has always be of great importance. How big of a carbon footprint am I leaving behind? Eating raw foods has a much lesser impact on the environment that eating animal or manufactured foods.
I hope you enjoyed this information and it helped you understand some of the factors behind a raw vegan lifestyle. If you should have any questions, feel free to reach out to us, we’re always here to help.