In my previous post, “Why Eat Raw” I mentioned the benefits of incorporating more raw foods into our every day meals as they are packed with enzymes, nutrichemicals, phytochemicals, oxygen, hormones, and vitamins and minerals, but I glossed over the details.
Today I want to go deeper into the “why” by discussing this fuel our bodies need and crave for optimal performance and function.
We know raw foods are composed of enzymes, nutrichemicals and phytochemicals, oxygen, hormones, and vitamines and minerals. But what exactly are those? We’ve heard of them–but do we really know what they are?
Time for a quick science class crash course!
An enzyme is an electrically charged protein molecule required for every process in the body. There are three different kinds of enzymes: food enzymes, which naturally occur in raw living foods, digestive enzymes, which are produced by the human body to help break down food; and metabolic enzymes, which are in charge of every chemical process in our cells!
Unfortunately these vital enzymes are destroyed with heat, therefore raw foods can never be heated above 115 degrees.
Science has revealed that we have a finite amount of enzymes best described as a “bank account.” Imagine your enzyme bank account and you only eat enzyme-deficient foods. The body will use up its “enzymes savings” and eventually the digestive process will take enzymes from other systems in the body wearing down the immune system thus making the body [more] vulnerable to disease. Yikes.
On the contrary, consuming enzyme-rich foods equate to “enzyme deposits” and will be replenishing lost enzymes, or add to the “account,” which assists the body to digest foods with less burden on the digestive tract. In addition, making these “deposits” replenish the metabolic enzymes, which would otherwise make you feel tired and achy if depleted. So if you’re lacking energy and you’re achy — try incorporating more raw foods into your diet!
Nutrichemicals and Phytochemicals are found in raw and living foods, which the plants naturally create to protect themselves from environmental hazards and other diseases. They can be compared to a plant’s immune system and are high in antioxidants, cleaning up free radicals in our body that cause aging and other deterioration.
Oxygen is essential for survival and found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat. Raw, unprocessed, organic foods have the highest amount of oxygen in them, and aid in energizing the body. Try eating more greens or replace an entire meal to it and I’m sure you’ll feel lighter opposed to feeling heavy after oxygen-lacking fatty foods that rob what’s left of your body’s oxygen cells in order to metabolize them.
*As a side note, I’m a huge fan of houseplants. Not only are they gorgeous and complete your home, they are actually generating oxygen and improving your homes air quality. This is ideal, especially if you live in an area where smog or other pollutions are “normal”.
Another amazing component raw foods have which are vital to our bodies is hormones. Hormones are phytochemicals and nutrients that exist in plants to strengthen their immunity to diseases and environmental hazards or stresses. For example, the growing tips of sprouts and young shoots include growth hormones, which are both rejuvenating and regenerating to cells. Consumption of these medicinal foods will show as beneficial in your reflection over time.
Vitamins and minerals are abundantly found in raw and living foods. Even in cooked foods as well; however much of the water and fat-soluble vitamins are destroyed, leaving minimal true nutrition. The minerals are still there — but the enzymes are not, which are needed to transport to the cells. As a result, they get lost and exit the body in a demineralized capacity.
Did you know osteoporosis is a prime example of a mineral-deficient body? When the body becomes deficient in minerals it will begin pulling minerals from the bones — which also happens when the body attempts to alkaline itself (balance the acidity) by pulling the alkaline minerals, such as calcium, from the bones to counteract the acid condition.
If this is the only paragraph you read, remember that raw, organic, living foods are the absolute best source of vitamins and minerals because they add minerals to the body and help keep the acid/alkaline (pH) balance — which leaves us being mineral-rich opposed to mineral-depleted or deficient!
So as a rule of thumb, just remember to double your raw food intake for every clean cooked portion of food you eat. In theory this should balance you out:)
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Did you know any of this about raw foods?
What are your favorite raw, living foods?