Why should I eat a raw food diet?

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Answered by: Aaron, An Expert in the Healthy Living 101 Category
My wife and I have been raw food enthusiasts for over five years now and one question people always ask us is, What is a raw food diet?

The first thing in understanding what a raw foods diet is to understand what it is not. The raw food diet is not a fad diet. Long before Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig or even Weight Watchers humans were raw food eaters. Long before we discovered fire and long before we discovered how to pasteurize and process food we were pulling vegetables out of the ground and fruit off trees and eating it raw. Clearly it was healthy for us because millions of years later, here we are! "But aren't we healthier than our ancestors?" Are we? Heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and many other debilitating and fatal health conditions have become rampant in our society since the industrial revolution brought about the pasteurizing and processing of food.

A raw food diet is not munching away at carrot sticks or eating bland tasting food pining away for a cheeseburger and being miserable. Raw food is vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds (you can even get raw milk and cheese). There are literally thousands of recipes from gourmet to basic for delicious raw meals that can easily replace the foods you currently love that do not love you back. And most of these recipes are easy to make, in fact most of them are quicker to make because you're NOT cooking it. No more waiting an hour for your dinner to come out of the oven, with the exception of some recipes that call for soaking nuts and seeds overnight most meals can be made in less than twenty minutes.

Most importantly a raw food diet isn't even a diet. A diet, as defined by Miriam-Webster is eating sparingly to reduce one's weight. On a raw food diet you don't have to eat sparingly, in fact you can eat all you want! So we'll stop calling it a diet and call it a lifestyle. The advantage to eating raw is that uncooked foods (or basically foods not heated to above 118 degrees F) have more nutrients and live enzymes than cooked foods. When you cook broccoli, for example, you're killing off between 80% to 90% of the nutrients and vitamins in the broccoli. But if you eat it raw, then all those enzymes and nutrients and vitamins you're trying to get will be there, and because raw food still has all of it's nutrients you actually need less food to get full. Also, any excess food you eat will not be stored as fat but burned off as energy.

Now for the best part of a raw foods lifestyle. The human body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. Every day our bodies go through complex detoxing processes to remove toxins from our bodies. Unfortunately with the advent of chemical food processing our bodies spend more time cleaning those toxins out of our system than they should, thereby leaving us exposed to other forms of infection. By adopting an organic, raw food lifestyle our bodies are no longer inundated by chemicals that are manufactured into our food.

This way our bodies can focus on more important things, like controlling our blood sugar so we don't become diabetic, fighting off viruses so we don't get the cold, or even fighting off cancer causing infections. There have been many studies that show a plant based raw foods lifestyle can reverse conditions such as acid reflux, heart disease, fibromyalgia and even diabetes. Many people even claim to have beaten cancer through adopting a raw and vegan lifestyle.

So to answer your question "Why should I eat a raw food diet?" I say, why wouldn't you?

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