There’s a lot of hype about the benefits of eating a live or raw food diet. This post defines living food, it’s health benefits and why some say that it’s not as healthy as some would have us believe.
Living food is all-natural and uncooked.
We know about the powerful health benefits of natural food, but what’s wrong with cooked food?
In general, food heated over 46°C (116°F) destroys it’s enzymes and alters the molecular structure of the food, creating toxic elements which must be eliminated or stored to protect the body from damage. It’s this internal damage that causes the external effects we label as aging.
What’s the difference between live and raw foods?
Live foods contain high concentrations of “active” enzymes. Raw food, on the other hand, has sleeping or “dormant” enzymes. These unactivated enzymes are awakened when raw foods are sprouted, like nuts and seeds, which then become “living food”.
What’s so great about enzymes?
Living food proponents contend that enzymes are the “life-force” or “energy” of food. Cooking food, in effect, kills or suffocates the potency of food.
One major criticism of a living food diet is that these enzymes are destroyed by stomach acid which render them useless to us since nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine. Proponents maintain enzymes are merely deactivated in the stomach and reactivated when they reach the small intestine.
Health benefits of living food
This Wikipedia article titled, “Raw Foodism“, lists the common beliefs behind raw food, the raw food movement, research, potential harmful effects of cooked food, as well as, common criticisms and controversies surrounding raw food.
In a nut shell, the health benefits of live and raw foods are:
- Maintain youth and vitality as fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which help process harmful toxins in the body that cause chronic disease and illness.
- More healthy as they have higher nutrient content and are more bioavailable (i.e. body can better absorb the nutrients).
- Increase immune function and aid digestion through beneficial bacteria and micro-organisms (gut flora).
What’s wrong with a living food diet?
Here’s what the critics say:
- Some foods are made more bioavailable and easier to digest when cooked.
- There is a high danger of food poisoning from living food as bacteria is destroyed when heated.
- Nutritional deficiencies are often found in those who consume all-living food diets.
- Cooking food has been a natural evolution for mankind.
It seems as if this raw vs. cooked debate is not as clear-cut as some would like it to be. Check out this intelligent article by www.beyondveg.com as they attempt to use all the known facts to reach an acceptable compromise.
Are you on one side of the fence in this healthy diet debate? Do live foods make you feel alive or do they make you feel ill? Let’s hear your thoughts and experience in the comments below.
Also, does anyone know if sprouted grain bread is considered living food?