Could you be a raw foodie?
You might have noticed that a lot of people are going raw. They are claiming that to eat raw, is better for your healthy eating plan.
But what does that actually mean? Do raw foodists only eat fruits and vegetables?
A raw foodie is someone that eats foods which are in a natural state, not processed or heated above 47 degrees celcius.
The reason behind this number, 47, is that raw foodists talk a lot about enzymes, and the fact that raw, living food contains higher levels of enzymes because they are not denatured or broken down by heat.
If you look at this curve below, it shows you at which temperature enzymes break down and are not effective.
Why are enzymes so important?
All enzymes are proteins and enzymes are the catalyst of all chemical reaction in our bodies. They facilitate every pathway in our bones, muscles, digestive systems, organs and cells.
This is why raw foodists claim your health will benefit from unheated foods as they will have a higher enzyme activity.
The other process that heat decreases is some vitamin and mineral activity. For instance vitamin C is one vitamin which is very fragile with heat processing. This is why in pasteurised orange juice, vitamin C or acetic acid is added back in to obtain the desired vitamin C content.
What does eating raw look like?
A raw foodist is often vegetarian and vegan as well. A vegan is someone who does no eat meat, poultry or products from animals like dairy.
Raw foodies eat a lot of seeds, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, vegetable proteins like temp-eh or raw milk products (if not vegan) in varying different combinations.
There are also fruitarians which mainly consume fruit; sproutarians who consume mostly sprouts; and juicearians who consume mostly fresh juice.
Do you have to be 100% raw?
Most raw foodists claim to be 80-95% raw, in that they eat at least 2 meals per day raw.If they have to eat out they will mainly eat vegetarian and choose salads or soups as an option.
What are the benefits of eating raw?
Raw foodists discuss the benefits of eating raw as having higher energy levels, clearer skin and weight loss. They also claim to get sick less often.
What are some of the arguments against eating raw?
If you are going to choose a vegetarian, vegan or raw diet, you need to take a very educated approach to it to ensure you consume all of the essential amino acids. Vegetarian food sources lack at least one of the essential amino acids where as meat sources often contain all essential amino acids.
Eating raw or being a vegan does not mean that you will lack protein, but you will just need to ensure each day has a complex array of foods to incorporate varied nutrition.
Raw foodists often talk about the denaturation of enzymes by heat. But what is not discussed is the denaturation of enzymes from acidic conditions such as in the stomach. Yes the enzymes will be in tact when you consume them, but once they hit the stomach, they will become deactivated. How does a raw foodie argue that point? You will have to ask them.
What’s the conclusion?
Of course the premise of eating more fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds and nuts is beneficial to all people and especially vegetable consumption is of concern to the Australian population.
Therefore any amount of additional vegetables to your diet could only be good for you and if you increase the percentage of vegetables into your diet, you will probably lose weight anyway.
If you are interested in becoming raw, maybe think of including a few more raw meals into your day to start and get some advice as to how to best include all the essential amino acids.
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