Discussion on Raw Food Nutrition

by Webmaster, All4NaturalHealth.com

Minimal empirical evidence is available on the sufficiency and healthful value of sole raw food nutrition. Although many health benefits of eating raw food have been propagated, some people claim that it may not be suitable for children, pregnant women, nursing mothers as well as those with anemia or osteoporosis to go fully raw.

Thus, additional care is needed to plan and monitor the diets of those who are going fully or mainly raw. This is especially true for special groups of people, such as pregnant women or children.

Potential nutritional deficiencies

Others say that deficiencies in calcium, iron, protein and vitamin B12 may occur while on a fully raw diet.

I think it is true that a fully raw plant-based diet may be lacking in protein. To help deal with this, make sure that sufficient amounts of beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are consumed - these foods are high in protein.

I've come across material which states that one's hair is a good indication of protein levels in the body. If the hair starts falling excessively, then it may be time to increase protein intake.

Absorption of nutrients

In addition, there is apparently evidence that raw food nutrition may not always be the best, with certain nutrients being better absorbed by the human body after cooking. Results of such studies had previously been published in the British Journal of Nutrition and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

For example, for lycopene in tomatoes, I have come across two theories. The first is that lycopene is bound to certain proteins, and cooking helps to break these bonds and make the lycopene more bioavailable to the body.

Another theory is that cooking helps to break down the cellular walls of tomatoes, and more lycopene can then 'leach out' during digestive processes. These, to me, sound like perfectly possible and reasonable scenarios.

Another example is carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, found mainly in carrots and also green vegetables. They are supposed to be fat-soluble, and so are better absorbed by the body after being cooked in a little oil.

People who don't do well on raw foods diets

Then, there are stories of people who don't do so well on raw food nutrition alone. Some of them get indigestion problems, become underweight, develop 'permanent' runny noses, or are pale and weak. Brittle nails, thinning hair and overall lack of strength have also been reported.

Dietary and healing modalities and theories

Certain dietary and healing protocols, for example Traditional Chinese, also advocate that sole raw food nutrition may not be suitable for certain groups of people, for instance those with 'colder' body types or those living in cooler climates.

Some tips

To help ensure you get your necessary dose of nutrients, consume a wide variety of different kinds of fresh raw foods. Different colors help, too! By eating in-season produce, you will also be making sure that you consume a varied diet of raw foods.

Chew your food well! Chewing well increases the surface area of food, mixes food well with digestive enzymes, and breaks down certain compounds in food. These in turn help your body better digest the food and assimilate its nutrients.

Personally, I would also recommend taking a good whole food supplement, such as a superfood mixture, barley grass powder, or wheat grass powder.

Concluding thoughts on raw food nutrition

So, is raw food nutrition alone enough for good health and vitality? The jury is still out on this one.

Personally, I can see the value of some (but not all) cooked foods. My take on this issue is, the vast majority of us eat way too much cooked food and way too little raw foods. We are thus lacking in raw food nutrition.

Thus, to enjoy better health, it is true that most of us should add a lot more raw foods to our diets. Fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, seeds, fresh juices - these are some useful additions.

And, for your cooked foods, do them the more healthful ways - steaming, boiling, as supposed to frying or microwaving. Steaming is a great way to preserve a lot of the taste and nutritional value of your food.

As for whether or not to go fully raw, that is, in my opinion, very much a matter of personal choice. The only way in which you would know if you like it, and if it works for you, is to try it for yourself and see how it goes.

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