Monday, May 23, 2011

Raw Vegetable Diet

Have you ever thought about going on a raw vegetable diet?  Is it healthy?  A raw vegetable diet is based on the belief that the healthiest food for the body is not cooked.  Most people that are on a raw diet, eat most of their food raw.  When they heat food, they try to keep the food below 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plant based foods have natural enzymes in them that help us to digest our food and absorb the nutrients we need.  If we eat mostly cooked food, our body has to produce more enzymes in order to digest the food.  This can cause us to age quicker, cause digestive problems, and a deficiency in nutrients.

Although our family is not on a 100% raw vegetable diet, I teach my children that they should always try to eat something raw whenever they eat.  This way, the digestive enzymes are there to help digest the food. 

The other benefit of a raw vegetable diet, are the vitamins and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.  These antioxidants and vitamins help to protect us from cancer and other diseases.  The typical American is not consuming enough of these raw fruits and vegetables and are lacking in the nutrients their body needs to stay healthy and strong. Often they will turn to synthetic vitamins, which are not giving them the natural nutrients that Mother Earth has given us.

If people were to strive harder to eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible, they would find that they feel better and many of their problems may lessen or go away.  According to the food pyramid, people should be striving to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but I think we should eat at least 15 - 20 servings a day to maintain optimal health.

There are many staples in a raw vegetable diet which include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes and seeds.  Spinach, kale, collard, and other dark leafy greens should be eaten as much as possible.  Making a green smoothie daily can help you to use these leafy greens regularly.

Another great benefit of a raw vegetable diet, is a slower aging process.  Many who are on a raw diet or switch to a raw diet are often complimented on looking more youthful.  Because we are getting the enzymes we need, our body does not need to steal enzymes from our body.   A raw vegetable diet will also help with increased energy, smoother skin, reduced disease risk, and weight loss.  Even if you aren't ready to go on a 100% raw vegetable diet, I would highly recommend eating 60-80% raw for the amazing health benefits.

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