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  • Maureen

6 Reasons to eat more Raw Food

Much has been written about the pros and cons for raw food diets. Proponents eat uncooked whole foods such as nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. While there’s some debate about the exact temperature, most experts agree that is you heat foods past 118 degrees Fahrenheit, you destroy the plant enzymes that contribute to digestion and nutrient absorption. Scientific research links greater consumption of raw veggies with decreased risk for certain cancers. On the flip side, cooking some vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes, makes important photochemicals more available to the body.

A Balanced Approach

While raw food diet can be healthy, followed long-term it can lead to nutritional deficits in calcium, protein, B12 and iron “unless it is astutely balanced” according to integrative physician Elson Hass, MD, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition.

Given that- and the fact that we naturally crave warm and comforting foods at this time of year-many raw food experts recommend shooting for certain percentage of one’s diet being raw-say, 75 percent. Whatever percentage you decide on, you can anticipate reaping at least come of the following benefits.

1. Better digestion. Going raw acts like an elimination diet. If you follow its general guidelines for a week and then reintroduce eggs or conventional, non-sprouted bread into your diet, you will quickly  realize if those foods are problematic for you gastrointestinal system.

2. Weight loss. Raw food books tend to run inspiring before-and-after photos for reasons. People who follow this diet often shed excess weight.

3. Improved health. Cutting back on meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine,  caffeine, and processed foods can have dramatic effects one one’s health.

4. Easy access. Health food stores offer a variety of products for those following a raw diet. Breads, fresh juices, and bars made of sprouted grains are a few examples. Some natural food stores may also carry books that offer delicious raw food recipes so you won’t be eating just salads.

5. Reduce cravings. The healthier you begin to eat, the more you will crave whole foods such as fruits and veggies rather then pizza or snack foods.

6. Regularity. The typical American diet lacks fiber. Eating more raw foods will make it easier to get the fiber you need  to stay regular.

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