Why Eat Raw?

raw food diet 3
Raw Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, and Seeds

I hear this question a lot in my health coaching practice, and there are several answers, most having to do with the benefits that people experience when they greatly increase the amount of Raw Foods in their diets. I see it all the time – the reversal of all manner of unwanted conditions, such as headaches, excess weight, stomach and bowel distress, acid reflux, poor sleep, poor breathing, lack of energy, fibromyalgia, anxieties, colds, flus, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart ailments, to name a few.  I’ve seen all these reversals and more.

A big part of why so many people get better from so many conditions on a high Raw Food has to do with the enzyme activity in our bodies. Dr. Edward Howell, often considered the father of the food enzyme concept, argued that when the body is busy digesting food, it is unable to divert the energy necessary to make the type of enzymes needed to do other tasks. There’s a certain tug-of-war between the demands of the digestive system for a constant supply of digestive enzymes and the needs of the body for the metabolic enzymes vital for cleansing, healing, and building. Without an adequate supply of metabolic enzymes, over time, we suffer.

The Raw Gourmet
The Raw Gourmet, by Nomi Shannon

And what does this suffering look like? It looks like aging, fatigue, aches and pains, arthritis, infertility, high cholesterol, cancer, tumors, acne, poor mental health, irritability, and on and on. Sometimes, the onset of these things is subtle. Hence, the phrase, “Oh, this aging thing!” or something like it, is heard often from folks in their fifties…..sometimes much younger. It isn’t old age, folks. Trust me on this one. I’m in my seventies, and by any measure, am in excellent health with lots of energy.

One of my favorite Raw Food gurus, Nomi Shannon, author of, among other works, The Raw Gourmet, says that this enzyme deficit that we attribute to “aging” is most often seen in those who eat a diet laden with meat, bread, dairy, processed and cooked foods, caffeine, and alcohol. It is a diet devoid of enzymes, which have been destroyed in the cooking. Additionally, such a diet creates an acidic state in the body which causes a variety of health problems.(We’ll save the alkaline/acidic discussion for another day.)

A diet that is high in Raw Food – fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted nuts, seeds, grains (for some people), and some seaweed will profoundly increase chances of achieving optimal health, according to Shannon and other proponents of a high Raw Food diet. I agree.

organic farming
Organic Farming

Enjoying optimal health means seeking the most nutritious, natural, chemical-free foods we can find, which means buying as much organic as possible.

I eat a high Raw Food diet because I want optimal health. It’s that simple. I want life in abundance. For more information about Health Coaching for support and accountability as you commit to improving your health, or Raw Food preparation classes, meet me here at my website.

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