Anyone ‘living raw’ are usually cheerleaders for the lifestyle, but are foods better raw or cooked? What actually happens during the cooking process and should we all ditch our cookers in place of dehydrators?
A raw vegan food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. It involves an increase in the number of fruits and vegetables, as well as seeds, nuts, grains and beans (mostly sprouted). A food is considered raw if it is uncooked or “prepared” up to 40 degrees centigrade.
Advantages of going raw
When compared to a typical Western diet, the raw diet contains fewer trans fats, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, and can be higher in magnesium, folate, fibre, and many health-promoting antioxidants. Translated into real life this could mean:
Tons more energy
Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Eating food raw preserves plant enzymes, which drive biological processes such as aiding digestion, reducing inflammation and can even slow down the premature ageing process (yes please!). Case in point: sulforaphanes, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, are reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate are also destroyed by heat. In short: When you cook it, you kill it.
Then there is sprouting, a common practice with raw foodies. Sprouting raw nuts, seeds, beans and grains dramatically multiplies their nutritional profile and is one of the quickest, easiest ways to pack many nutrients into your body in just one handful.
But is cooking food all that bad?
My top 5 tips for going raw...