Raw fruits and vegetables contain all of their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, nutrients mostly destroyed by the cooking process, although some forms of cooking -- frying, roasting, and baking -- are a lot more destructive than others, namely steaming and boiling. By eating raw foods, we're strengthening our immune systems. Although some pundits say that certain foods need to be cooked to release their nutrients, the lycopene in tomatoes (the factor those pundits point to) is as available when raw tomatoes are blended in a power blender as when they're boiled. And that way they retain vitamins the heat would destroy.
Consider the following:
+ Studies have shown that when oils, animal fats, and nuts and seeds are heated, they're chemically changed in ways that are harmful to the body.
+ When we eat raw foods, we have so much more energy than when we eat cooked food.
+ We look better when we eat raw foods.
+ When we eat raw foods, we lose excess weight without even trying!
+ There are many people who have healed themselves of chronic diseases and other conditions by eating a raw foods diet (in combination, perhaps, with other modalities like exercising and meditating). In fact, as Gabriel Cousens, M.D., writes in his book There Is A Cure for Diabetes, a raw vegan diet cures Type 2 Diabetes.
+ You can make delicious recipes from raw foods, so that you will hardly miss cooked foods. It may be hard to believe at first, but there are many people out there to vouch for this!
+ Check out this August 15, 2002 column in The Guardian.
A note about language
The term "raw" generally means any food grown in nature that is not heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature beyond which enzymes are destroyed. Enzymes are like puzzle pieces; in order for them to fit into blood cells to facilitate digestion, they have to retain their unique shape. But heating them over 118 degrees melts them and they can no longer do their work.
The term "live" (pronounced with a long "i", to rhyme with hive) generally means a food (especially one that grows wild) that contains all of its life energy and that forms an alkaline condition in the body. Alkaline-producing foods contribute to health and longevity.
A food can technically be raw, like an uncooked carrot, for example, but not be considered "live" because it contains starch and/or too much sugar, and forms acid in the body. A diet consisting of mostly foods that form acid promotes disease and aging.
We use the words live and raw because "raw food" is often used as the name for the lifestyle in general, and we want to be inclusive rather than exclusive. New people are becoming interested in the lifestyle every day, and we are all at different points on the path. We think therefore that it's okay to use either term, as long as we make it clear that we personally believe in the purer (live) form of the diet.
LET US HEAR FROM YOU
If you have any questions about anything you read here, or any news about raw food, we invite you to write us. We love to hear from you!
* a recipe * a restaurant review * a local raw foods shopping tip (please include the town, state and country) * a kitchen gadget review * a kitchen gadget you would like to see invented * a description of your dream raw vegan restaurant * a raw foods question * some raw foods news * feedback.