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Vibrant Living, Issue #154 The Real Power of a Raw Food Diet
September 20, 2016
|Greetings Health Seekers,
Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
Here in the northern hemisphere summer is fading and the brisk early mornings of autumn are approaching. The fruits and veggies at the markets are changing and there are so many great healthy foods to choose from. Although I’ll soon be saying goodbye to some of my summer favorites like cucumbers and figs I do love the fall season and all that it brings.
As usual I’m enjoying the fresh raw bounty available from my own garden and the local farmers market. I’m very grateful for that bounty, my health, and the love of my family and friends. I do hope wherever you are that things are good for you as well. As I look around my own sphere of friends and neighbors I see that circumstances in life can change in a heartbeat and that we must treasure each day as the gift that it is. Please take good care of your health and your family….and be on the lookout for those in need.
In terms of taking good care of your health there’s an article in this issue of Vibrant Living where I discuss the dynamics that make the raw diet so powerful.
To liven up your raw menus I’ve provided links to some of the best recipes from the website for the late summer and fall seasons. Please try a few and post a review back at the website to help others know more about them.
“Like the abilities gained from a drug, the energy gained from a stimulant is an illusion.” ~ Dr Douglas N. Graham
The real power of a Raw Food Diet
Over the years I have heard many people proclaim the powers of a raw food diet and attribute it to a myriad of things: the life force of uncooked foods, the unadulterated nutrients, and of course the most common is the enzymes raw foods contain. But is that really the case? Is it the presence of enzymes that makes the raw diet such a powerful healer and health producer, or is it as others suggest a combination of all these factors, or is there still more to it?
The first thing to sort out is the difference between raw foods and living foods. A raw food could be a head of lettuce that was picked a week ago, whereas a living food would be a head of lettuce picked right before consumption. Without a doubt living foods have far more life force, nutrients, and enzymes by a long shot. That’s not to say we shouldn’t eat produce that is some days out of the ground or off the tree or vine, because we can only do the best we can do. We may not have access to living foods all year long even if we have a garden. So for the sake of today’s discussion lets focus on raw foods acquired at your local market or farmers market.
I do agree with others that raw foods contain more overall nutrients, enzymes, and life force than their cooked counterparts. Although we know some foods give up their nutrition more easily after cooking, overall there is more available nutrition in raw foods. As for enzymes, it’s not that raw foods contain extra enzymes that your system can use, it’s that each food contains the enzymes necessary for the breakdown of that food so it may be more easily digested by your body without your body having to use up excess digestive enzymes of its own.
There is one theory in the science of health that states that we are each born with a finite number of enzymes, and when the enzyme supply is gone it’s game over, we’re done. So to this end it’s very important to eat foods that are in the raw state and contain their own enzymes. One enzyme rich living food that almost anyone anywhere in the world can enjoy all year long is fresh sprouts. Fresh sprouts are pretty easy to grow and are loaded with the big 3: enzymes, nutrients, and life force.
Obviously the life force of a raw food begins to decline when it is harvested. The life force will depend upon how long after the harvest you are consuming said raw food. That’s why growing your own food is ideal and shopping at the farmers market is the next best thing. There are also some health store/markets that get their produce locally and almost as, if not as fresh as the farmers markets. Always look for the freshest foods available.
Now here’s another very important thing about the raw diet- it’s real food. I know this seems simple, but if you stop and think about the raw diet and the diets of most people before going raw there is a huge difference. A healthy raw diet is primarily made up of fresh ripe whole foods, with perhaps some slightly processed offerings like raw crackers and such. Just this alone is a huge relief for the human digestive system and overall body function. This is why there are a large number of individuals who do well on a raw diet even with some cooked foods. They’re eating a very simple diet made up of whole foods that the body can recognize and glean nutrition from.
If you think about the menagerie of ingredients in processed food, junk food, fast food, and even conventional seemingly whole foods that contain pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals from fertilizers that could be genetically engineered then wow, that’s a heavy load on the system. And then there are animal products that contain all of the above with the addition of hormones and antibiotics so it’s not hard to see why switching to a raw diet can dramatically improve one’s health. As Dr Fred Bisci says, “What you leave out is as important as what you eat.” That’s paraphrasing on my part but is pretty close and the message is right on.
Another area where raw foods shine is the lack of oxidized foods. Oxidized foods are actually foods that are rusting and if you eat oxidized foods for a long time you’ll end up rusting your body. Oxidized foods create free radicals in the body, which are said to damage DNA so that the next generation of cells are subpar and the degeneration continues over time with each new cell division. Then one day a person wakes up with a long list of maladies, perhaps some that are terminal.
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol both create oxidation. Perhaps you can think of someone you know who has done one or both for a number of years and the state of their health and physical appearance today. Probably not a very pretty sight.
Usually one begins to notice the early aging of oxidation in the late 40’s or early 50’s. This is when the body has really slowed down its production of an enzyme called super oxide dismutase (SOD). SOD protects the body from free radical damage, but levels decline at about age 40. This decline could be due to poor lifestyle choices and continually having to draw on this vital life giving enzyme. There are a number of foods that contain SOD, broccoli sprouts being one.
The best visual example of oxidation is the apple or potato that turn brown after being cut and left for a short while, but this is nothing compared to the oxidation of cooked fat and oils. If you’re going to cook, then steaming is clearly the best method. If you absolutely need to add oil add it after the meal is plated and cooled somewhat.
Of course uncooked oils can oxidize as well, which is why it’s best to get your fats from whole foods and not processed oils. You don’t know how the oil was extracted and how it was processed, treated, and stored after that.
Nuts and seeds are other foods that are susceptible to oxidation. The more fat in the nut or seed the better the chance it will begin to oxidize after it’s removed from its protective shell. I see pine nuts in the store in a plastic package and they’re all yellow, a clear sign that oxidation is under way. Because of their high fat content, macadamia nuts are another one that can go quickly.
If you can’t find your favorite nuts in the shell, or just don’t want to crack your own, then buy them in small batches and keep them refrigerated in air tight containers.
The Healthy Whole Person
Of course as with anything else it is the whole health regime that makes the healthy whole person. I have spoken many times about the need for exercise, fresh air, sunshine, clean water, and an attitude of good health. There are a number of other issues that have a bearing, but we’ll save those for another day.
I think the main thing to take away is that a raw diet or high raw diet will provide you with unparalleled health over the years as opposed to the standard American diet (SAD), which so many are a slave to today. In my opinion this includes the paleo diet, or any other fad diet that comes along. Many of these may produce good results short term, but years later the excesses and inadequacies of these diets will bear results not dissimilar to the SAD.
This is not to say your life will be without health challenges, because of the contributions of your past diet and health history and other factors, but you will be far healthier and happier following a healthy vegan raw or high raw food diet. This will enable you the meet any challenges, be they health related or not, with more energy, command, and confidence. Go forth and be Healthy!
"Fats are essential components of cells and tissues of the body, BUT ONLY when they are natural fats which have not been subjected to excessive heat." ~Dr. Norman Walker
Raw Food Education
If you ever wanted to learn more about the science behind the raw diet, or perhaps educate yourself so YOU can coach or teach others about the healing powers of a raw diet then the Science of Raw Food Program might be for you.
My Friends Drs. Rick and Karin Dina each have 25 years studying, teaching, and living the raw food diet. They teach all over the country sharing their wisdom and helping people get a solid foundation for life long health.
Here's what Dr Rick and Karin have to say. "We enjoy exploring all aspects of raw food, health, and nutrition and have spent collectively over 50 years practicing the raw food lifestyle and educating ourselves about the science behind the claims.
The information that we have found has been fascinating, often surprising, and very eye-opening. Our courses provide answers to common questions about plant-based raw food diets and beyond, and are presented in a fun and easy to understand format. No other raw food educator combines our doctorate-level education, research, clinical, and personal experience with raw food nutrition the way we do."
I have taken several of the classes and attended numerous presentations that were not only enjoyable, but gave me the tools and confidence to rebuke even the fiercest of naysayers.
Drs. Rick and Karin are in the process of launching the online version of their Science of Raw Food Nutrition series, called Mastering Raw Food Nutrition and Educator Course. If you're interested find more info at their website
Raw Food Education
“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.” ~Paracelsus 1493-1542
These raw recipes use ingredients from late summer and fall that will surely spice up your life! Please enjoy a few and post a review so other may benefit from your experience.
I'm always happy to receive new recipes at the site, but please send along a photo of the recipe and a paragraph or so telling about the recipe, i.e. nutritional value, why you like it, the story behind it, etc.
Most days I’m posting health information, recipes, testimonies, etc on the facebook page of RAW-FOODS-DIET-CENTER.COM, so if you’re interesting in checking that out you can do that here.
Discount Super Foods and Such
Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online.The following resources may be helpful for you.
The Raw Food World, the Fresh Network, Vitacost, and sometimes Amazon can be a good source as well for good deals on green powders and such. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!
There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.
You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.
Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I'm not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else's body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what's best for us.
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