The raw food movement is increasing in popularity across the globe, and Australia is no exception. Its focus is on preserving and serving food without heat, so that you get the best nutritional bang for your buck. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons you might want to focus on increasing raw foods in your diet.
Raw Food Contains Natural Enzymes
Raw foods are packed full of natural enzymes that can enhance your own digestive processes.
Ever eaten pineapple and felt like your mouth was burning afterwards? That’s because it is full of bromelain, an enzyme that can help you digest proteins.
Amylase, which breaks down starches, can be found in bananas and raw honey.
Apricots are full of invertase that breaks down sugars so you can quickly access them for energy.
Even avocado is rich in lipase, an enzyme that helps break down fats.
By including raw foods, you can boost your digestive powers and get more nutrition from the foods that you eat.
Raw Food Retains Heat-Sensitive Nutrients
Did you know some nutrients are sensitive to heat, and are destroyed during cooking?
Vitamin C is best known for being heat-sensitive, with cooking completely destroying a large percentage of vitamin C in any food, with percentages between 10-65% when cooking vegetables for up to 30 minutes.
B complex vitamins are also sensitive to heat, with cooking destroying between 24-36% of the B vitamins in one study.
By eating raw foods, you are ensuring that you are getting plenty of health-boosting vitamins including vitamin C and B vitamins.
Raw Food Is Low In Most Common Allergens
When you are consuming raw food, you are immediately eliminating many of the common allergens including gluten and wheat, dairy and eggs. Even meat allergies are on the rise.
By eliminating these foods, you may uncover a hidden intolerance that you didn’t notice while you were consuming those foods on a regular basis.
You may notice a chronic symptom disappearing, such as bloating after a meal, watery eyes and runny nose, or migraines, thanks to the removal of a food intolerance.
Raw Food Can Reduce Your Sugar Cravings
So many people are addicted to the white stuff – there is sugar in almost every processed product, even savoury foods. This can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar, that then cause more sugar cravings.
When you consume more raw food, your body learns to enjoy natural sugars with a more subtle flavour.
The sugars in raw foods are also bound in the fibre of the food, which means the energy enters your body at a slower, steadier rate.
This gives you a steadier blood sugar level, which can reduce sugar cravings significantly.
Raw Food Can Give You More Nutrients
Raw foods can still be prepared with methods such as fermentation and sprouting, which can actually give you more nutrients out of the food than if you ate them without preparation.
Fermenting vegetables can be a source of good bacteria that help you to break foods down in your gut.
Fermenting can also increase the bio-availability, or how much actually enters your body, of nutrients including antioxidants and minerals such as iron.
Soaking and sprouting plant foods can deactivate ‘anti-nutrients’ that block the body from absorbing nutrients such as magnesium, iron and zinc.
Even if a raw food lifestyle isn’t your cup of tea, there are certainly enough health benefits to raw food for you to start including more into your daily diet. Start off with a big salad, a few spoonfuls of sauerkraut or enjoy a raw dessert at your favourite cafe!