I’ve been eating paleo for over 3 years now and have tried many new foods which I never knew existed. It’s all been for the best too! I have definitely seen the benefits in boosted energy levels (waking up at 6:30am – fresh – and being able to go till 11pm), quality sleep, i’m stronger, leaner, fitter than ever and i haven’t come down with the annual throat bug that usually has me taking horse size antibiotic pills since changing my diet.
Now i do love to cook, bake, broil, grill, and BBQ but there is good reason why good health coincides with food that has been minimally prepared. Here are some things you may not have known about raw food.
DANGERS OF HOT FAT
We all know that deep fried food is not the best for us but why exactly? Cooking fats at high temperatures changes their molecular structure into dangerous “trans” fats. The body can’t use these making them poisonous and potentially carcinogenic. You can help prevent this by ensuring you always use fresh oil, don’t fry at too high a temperature and never get oil to it’s smoking point. Saturated fats such as coconut oil and ghee are much safer options as their chemical structure is more stable when heated.
THE DIGESTIVE IMMUNE RESPONSE
Research in the 1930’s shows that the body responds differently to cooked and processed food. The study revealed upon ingesting these foods an immune response was set upon the digestive system as cooked and processed foods are seen as invaders. Interestingly this response isn’t seen when raw food is eaten and also doesn’t occur if raw food is eaten before cooked food. Filling your plate up with salad and eating it first is not only better for you but will leave your bodies’ defence systems free for more important jobs and not rushing to protect you (increasing unnecessary stress) every time you eat.
Cooked food from the supermarket, restaurant, and fast food joints are usually prepared with high amounts of salt to improve flavour and to help them keep longer. This can dramatically alter the sodium/potassium balance in our bodies where an excess in sodium can lead to fatigue, lowered immunity, high blood pressure and disease. Increasing raw organic food will naturally lead to less sodium intake and higher potassium intake. Restoring potassium helps increase nerve transmission, activation of voluntary and involuntary muscle contraction, and helps our liver store energy – all beneficial processes in helping us sustain active and productive lives.
Cellular respiration is the process of food being broken down and energy being released in order for the body to function at the cellular level. It basically means using the food we eat as fuel. Consuming raw food greatly helps cellular respiration as vitamins & minerals are are essential for the process. Good cellular respiration prevents disease, rids toxins, restores acid/base and sodium/potassium balance, activates the metabolism and boosts energy levels.
If you think eating raw food sounds difficult, unsatifying or boring it is quite the opposite. You will come to realise there are a lot of options, not just salads, when it comes to eating raw.
TIPS FOR EATING RAW
- Don’t think raw is just green food (lettuce, spinach, beans, broccoli). No, no, no! COLOUR is the key! Eat a variety vegetables and fruit that are all colours of the rainbow.
- Remember nuts are a great source of protein and energy. They’re great as a snack or to help bulk up a meal.
- Legumes can also be a great addition to help bring variety to your raw food bank.
- Fermented food (kefir, yoghurt, vegetables and teas) are a perfect compliment to raw food.
- When cooking meat use safe oils, watch that you don’t burn the meat and use herbs and spices to flavour it (not salt).
- There are plenty of raw food dessert and snack recipes! You need not go without indulgences!!!
- Be prepared! Making large batches of two or three salads for the week will ensure you don’t get bored and will help you comply to enjoying more raw food for life!
Do you have any other raw food eating tips you’d like to share?