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Published on June 11th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


Benefits of Eating Raw

The raw food plan emphasizes restricting items that have been processed or refined, usually white in color—white flour, white sugar, white bread, white salt.

Think of the refining process as similar to that of bleaching: Bleaching strips away life, removing any color and stain from a garment, turning it white. Refining mimics this process by stripping natural life-sustaining nutrients from our food, leaving the physical structure intact, but not much else.

Fresh Snap Peas

In looking at a list of all the refined and processed food items on the market, you may notice that 90% of your current diet probably contains them in some form, which wouldn’t seem to leave any room in your dining life for non-refined choices. But a raw food lifestyle isn’t about closing off your options—it’s about creatively opening your mind and palate to the abundance of vibrant, nutrient-dense, nourishing foods that facilitate our connection with the planet.

You can gradually integrate raw food choices into your life, without the pressure and stress that can accompany a traditional “diet.” When you make simple, healthy selections, and add comfortable amounts of raw food into your menu, your choices boost the vitality of your body, your mind, and our planet.

Here are some of the benefits that raw foodists share:

  • No more super-size it. Live foods are full of nutrients and they retain their natural water and fiber content. This means that during a raw food meal you’ll tend to eat less because you’ll be satisfied with less, and after a meal you’ll stay satiated longer. Some raw food researchers speculate that we are counseled to drink so much water because that water is not present in many of foods that we consume.
  • Hold the salt shaker. Raw, live foods come naturally packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor—which means that raw food meals encourage you to skimp on salt, sugar, and heavy spices. If a majority of your meals are cooked or microwaved, it may indeed take a bit of time to acclimate your palate to some raw food fare, but this can be easily accomplished by gradually integrating meals into your weekly and daily plan.
  • The test of time. Whoever said that a meal’s quality can be measured by the time spent hovering over it? Brimming with fresh flavor and vibrant colors, raw food meals = quick-prep, palatable, aesthetic wholesome goodness on a plate. There are many cookbooks and online recipes out there to help you pair flavors and nutrients for a simple and dynamic balance. Though many recipes, such as cucumber and avocado soup, require no more than 5 minutes at the blender, keep in mind that some require a bit of advanced preparation if germinating (aka sprouting) is involved. Another plus to raw food preparation: clean-up time is pared down to a bare minimum.
  • An apple a day. Our doctors urge us all to eat at least 5 fresh fruit and veggie servings per day—and they are on to something big! On a very basic level, research shows that cooking produces free radicals, cancer-causing agents in the cells. Eating more raw fare not only eliminates these cooking-generated cancer-causers, it also boosts your immunity and healing time, reverses the progression of chronic degenerative disease, facilitates the elimination of toxins, and has a radiant effect on your skin.
  • Planet-friendly path of choice. Incorporating raw food allows us to reap great personal health benefits and ease the burden on our over-taxed planet. Eating fresh food saves you time and money and encourages you to seek out local, organic options that spare the planet from excess energy consumed in transporting and packaging our food goods.

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