Have you been warned to stay away from raw food, especially if you are sick? (In fact, the more serious the illness the sterner the warning). There are so many views, theories and opinions surrounding raw food: the good, bad and ugly. Let’s first take a step back and understand raw food, and how it’s impacting our bodies before we succumb to the rumours.
I’m sharing the definition of raw food, then we will deep dive into debunking some myths surrounding the topic.
The dictionary definition of the word ‘raw’ is: Unrefined, unfiltered and untampered with. A raw food diet in its purist form is about preparing foods without heating them above 42 degrees C.
This is how I view food and encourage my clients to do the same-
If the food is natural i.e. provided by nature (and termed as safe to consume), then I’m convinced it will support my body.
We are a part of nature; fruits and plants are a part of nature (read raw food here), so how can they be “bad” for us? The relationship has to be symbiotic.
Is Raw Food Hard To Digest?
I often hear clients, friends and family saying
“Raw food is too hard to digest.”
“Raw food constipates me.”
“I feel so bloated after eating raw food.”
While I don’t doubt these symptoms, it’s imperative to differentiate between natural detoxification, and symptoms due to an illness. When we detox, our body has to eliminate toxins expressing similar symptoms to an illness. How else will your body get rid of its debris in order to heal?
So, before ditching the raw, wait it out for a week and I’m pretty sure you will feel better than when you first started.
When I first initiated my wellness journey many years ago, I was encouraged to include raw food in my daily diet. I’ve always loved an occasional, well-dressed, salad, especially at a restaurant, however it wasn’t a part of my staple diet at home.
Over time, and through lots of trial and error I graduated to eating a salad with each meal. To my surprise and pleasure, I noticed certain foods that would typically cause me to bloat, no longer had the same impact anymore.
I had to better understand why, and with some research uncovered, raw food contains enzymes of their own, reducing the demand for salivary enzymes for digestion. The enzymes in raw food enable our body to spend less energy in digestion, unlike cooked food.
Did You Know?
A salad has to be 70% raw, is typically nutrient dense (given you don’t top it with heavy dairy or sugary dressings), and helps manage blood sugar levels and support healthy digestion. This isn’t a demand for a fancy gourmet salad, just a cucumber, radish, tomato, and carrot can do the job! No room for excuses here.
Are Raw Vegetables Nutrient Dense?
Raw vegetables give us AMINO ACIDS (protein)! It helps-
- Repair our body
- Provides building material for our cells
- Makes hormones
- Strengthen bones
- Whiten teeth
- Build muscles
- Boost immunity
Basically, it supports our body to do everyday jobs. We absolutely don’t need protein supplements if we are eating correctly and regularly!
Also, to clarify, when I say raw, it includes fruits too- the most debated natural food I can think of. High in calories, spikes your blood sugar, and run from them if you’re diabetic, are just a few myths attached to my favourite food! Yes, fruits contain glucose, but so does our body; in fact, that’s EXACTLY what our body needs to thrive.
Bear with me, when it comes to fruits I can ramble on, and I’m letting myself, so we can unveil these myths!
If you love salad and are on the lookout for some fun recipes to try out at home, you should check out our 15 Salad Recipes You Need To Add To Your Meal Plan
Here Are Some Facts About Fruits:
- They provide us with known and unknown (we are still all learning) nutrients, from Vitamin A to Zinc, and more recently discovered ‘antioxidants’.
- Fruits are pre-digested, which means they require little digestive energy and aren’t a burden on your body (if you don’t feel good after fruit look within, the issue is your overall system)
- Extremely high-water content which helps cleanse the toxic waste build-up
- Fruits are good for the Earth, therefore our environment and therefore our body
Do you ever wonder why there’s no media hype or lobby behind the fruits and vegetable industry? Why is there so much publicity for protein powders, milk, supplements and let’s not even start junk food, especially targeted at kids? There’s no money to be made if we all buy and consume more fruits and veggies!
This article has gone all over the place, but my bottom line is, if nature has provided us with it, it’s most likely the best food for us. If we find it uncomfortable to consume, it’s probably due to high levels of toxicity in our body that’s being mobilised when we start fuelling it with better inputs.
How To Fuel Your Body Better?
- Increase your fruit intake on an empty stomach by 40%
- Include a raw salad with each meal
It helps to have someone guide you through this process- explain how this can impact your body and see you through any detox symptoms.
If you have questions or need help, talk to us in the comments below and we will get them addressed by experts.