So why is raw food important? I mean, I’m not just on about no junk food (you know, can-make-you-sick-and-obese-simultaneously, preservatives-killing-off-your-good-gut-bacteria-and-depleting-your-immune-system, toxin-loaded processed food), I am talking about good – actual! – food eaten raw.
Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly about cooked food:
Ugly first: Charcoal! If you burn your steak or your toast, the black, charcoal bits are actually cancer inducing. And if you have used oils liquid at room temperature to fry it with, they could possibly be carcinogenic too.
The good: Well, it’s a good way to sterilize food. Raw meat and fish in particular are a bit suspect as far as unwelcome additional protein goes. The reason why you should always have wasabi with your sushi and sashimi is because it kills off worms.
The bad: well, many nutrients are heat sensitive, so are destroyed in the heating process. And many minerals are leached out if you throw out the water the veggies have been cooked in.
The other kind of compound that is destroyed by heating is the enzymes. Enzymes are the stuff that make life possible. They are involved and make possible every single chemical reaction in the body (wow! – well, each of the thousands kinds of enzymes have a very specific job, but still). They are encoded in the genes, so hence made by the body. They are also present in raw food. So if you eat enzymes, they help you to digest your food, so you will absorb your nutrients better. There is also a school of thought that if you eat your enzymes, your body doesn’t have to make as many enzymes itself for digestion, and it can then divert those resources to other functions in the body (sounds quite reasonable to me). Raw food can take a little getting used to if you have been eating mainly cooked foods. If this is the case for you, just introduce them slowly, and you’ll soon find you crave them.
The other way of making your food more enzyme rich is by activating them: Soak your nuts and seeds overnight before you eat them. In essence, the seed begins to sprout, getting all the enzymes going.
Someone told me about an experiment where they fed cats cooked food. The kittens ended up with health issues, and it took SEVEN generations of cats fed on raw food to get them healthy again. Food for thought indeed!
Raw food is extremely yummy, they use ingredients in many creative ways. (Cashew cream for example!).