Your great, great grandparents may have been raw foodies – at least in part. They depended on the corn, squash, peas, tomatoes, turnips, broccoli, spinach, cabbage and cantaloupe bursting up from their backyard gardens.
Back in the 1800s, there were no labels with unpronounceable names, or foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), chemicals, preservatives and so-called “natural” ingredients that are synonymous with the present day industrial food chain. The simple adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is chock full of wisdom – as long as it’s not a genetically modified apple. Raw food is food in a purer state, the way nature made it. And it may still have roots attached. Raw food is full of light, life and nutrients, and is never heated to over 115 degrees.
Medium reports that raw foods translate into a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes. There are leafy greens, fruits and vegetables – including sea vegetables – seeds and nuts, raw dairy products and fish. And don’t forget about honey, coconut, sprouted grains, fermented foods, mushrooms, cacao and some teas.
The benefits to eating these easily digestible foods, says Dr. Amaka Nwozo, are enormous. Raw food is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and cancer fighting phytochemicals. Because the food isn’t cooked, these micronutrients are preserved, which enables the “body to function at an optimal level.” Raw food aids digestion, strengthens the immune system, assists with elimination and detoxification, and can even assist in memory retention.
Dr. Axe is another raw food proponent, who teaches that a raw food diet helps to keep the body in an alkaline state, provides more fiber and overall energy, and reduces carcinogens and inflammation. Draxe.com also suggests that people who are skeptical of raw foods, or think they “don’t like” raw fruits and vegetables, should simply add these foods in small steps. Introducing raw foods to the diet shouldn’t be looked at as a quick fix, but rather as part of a long-term transition to better health.
Eating a steady diet of nutrient dense raw food, says Dr. Axe, can positively impact a wide range of health challenges, including obesity, autoimmune disorders, food allergies, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, joint pain, kidney disease and PMS. At the same time, it’s imperative to eliminate industrially produced, processed and packaged food items whose job it is to tantalize your taste buds with chemicals that can kill you.