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The following information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. It is valuable to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional before making any changes. The statements below have not been evaluated by the FDA (or your country's equivalent). Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
On the topic of raw food health, some consider the raw vegan diet the most healthful diet to humans. Others suggest incorporating some raw meat, and perhaps fish (providing the meat was raised and fed healthfully), and some raw eggs (same as meat - raised healthfully) into the diet is necessary to achieve optimal health.
Whether one chooses a raw vegan diet or one with raw meat, fish and eggs, food being in it's raw state is suggested to NOT be void of enzymes. Enzymes, as suggested, are necessary for the proper digestion and assimilation of food, and each food has it's own enzyme that the body needs to work with. The jury is still out but it has been said that if the food does not have the enzymes in tact, the body will need to use some from the "finite" (opposite of infinite) store that exists within the body. These enzymes are necessary for many bodily functions and as they become depleted unnecessarily, it is said that it contributes to early signs of aging.
Besides loss of enzymes in cooked foods, it is suggested that the nutritional value of the foods are also depleted. In essence, the vitamin and mineral content is decreased, sometimes to the point of being completely void of any nutritional value. Some heat can be applied to a food for it to be still considered "raw" and have no loss of nutritional value. In fact, many raw vegan recipes are made applying heat using a dehydrator. The dehydrator can be set to be sure that it does not go above the "maximum" heat allowed for the food to remain "raw". That temperature varies depends who you ask (and for what food) but approximately 46 °C (115 °F) is a safe temperature.
When discussing raw food health, raw food advocates look at every scenario. They truly strive for ultimate health. They even look at food combining. It is said that combining certain foods in one meal can lead to fermentation or digestive issues. The combining rules are complicated and a large chart was devised to try and simplify matters.
Some raw foodists practice mono-eating to avoid any food combining complications. This involves eating just one whole food and waiting for it to digest before eating anymore food. This has the advantage where your body will catalog the nutritional value from the one food and generate cravings for that food when your body is in need of a specific nutrient that it provides. For example, if you body is need of potassium it may generate cravings for a banana providing you have eaten a banana by itself in the past and allowed it to completely digest before taking in any other food.
When dealing with a raw vegan diet, a general rule of thumb is to never mix fruit with any other food, including vegetables. However, mixing fruit with greens, as you would when making green smoothies has shown to not have the same adverse affects as mixing fruits and vegetables. Greens, although considered veggies, as they are often referred to as "dark green leafy vegetables", are now often put in a class all their own. So, a raw foodist might differentiate fruits, vegetables and greens.
Whatever the reason someone turns to raw food, be it for health or simplicity, the biggest argument for the raw food diet may be that humans should be eating what nature has provided for us, and perhaps we should be eating it in it's natural state.
Latest page update: made by rawmichelle
, Jul 4 2011, 6:02 PM EDT
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