Energy, enzymes and raw veggie diet! Are they the road to optimum health for vegetarians? Some doctors, vegetarians and juice advocates think so.
Many new vegetarians turn to a diet high in dairy fat, pasta, tofu and canned or packaged foods to replace the standard “American Fare” of cooked carbohydrates and animal fat. Many believe, as a result of this, new vegetarians often complain of lack of energy, feeling lethargic or having pasty look and not feeling “On top of the world.”
Well this could be the answer for many! Simply adding raw, uncooked, LIVE foods to your diet. Some adamant “live only” advocates will tout raw uncooked food as a cure all for every disease and malady known to man kind. Others think that juice is the only solution. The truth most likely lies somewhere between the two.
Although I am a big proponent of live, fresh food, I also know from experience that the all raw-food diet is one that only the most disciplined can achieve. It is very hard, for instance, to eat raw dried rice, even after its been soaked for 24 hours. Cooking breakes down the plants cell walls as well the starches and enzymes. Here-in lies the problem. It is those very enzymes that we need for that super energy feeling.
The solution is a balance of raw and cooked foods for most. If one starts with a 50% goal of raw-live food and adjust it to their own circumstance, they can find the energy, taste and not have to make such a radical dietary change that they cannot adjust, and fall back on old ways. Juice is a super way to start adding raw food to your diet. Not the juice in the bottles and cartons in the supermarket, they are usually long “dead” by the time you buy them. FRESH juice made at the time of consumption, with a home juicer is the kind that really delivers on taste, enzymes and live food goodness.
In the stomach proteins are broken down into amino acids. In the U.S. we are stuffing our stomachs with loads of protein every few hours and producing huge acid foments. This is very good for the makers of Rolaids, Tums, and other antacids, but not very good for our bodies. Most folks constantly assault their stomach linings with hot coffee, alcohol, preservatives, greasy donuts and burgers, dairy products, synthetic and laboratory created chemicals, and over cooked food of every description. Raw foods, on the other hand, do NOT create acid pools in your stomach and pass through the digestive track much faster than cooked food
We now know that leukocytosis occurs whenever folks consume cooked food. Leukocytosis is a large increase in the number of white cells in blood. It could be temperature, or perhaps the body sees cooked food as an invader of unknown origin, no one is sure at this time. We do know that eating is an immunological stress and eating cooked foods are an even greater stress. The body expends a full 60% of its engry resources on digestion. This is why so many people report a super energy boost from fasting. 80% of all immune tissue is packed around the intestine, as if waiting to fight an invading army. Could this be a clue that raw is better for us?
So if you crave more energy and want that veggie glow, try incorporating at least 50% to 75% raw veggies/juice/fruit into your diet. If you have a hard time leaving that cooked food behind, try “lightly” steaming vegetables (2 to 3 min.) that will keep most of the enzymes and other nutrients in your food. Dried un-sulfured fruit and veggies are also very useful in the winter months to help us retain robust health. Remember, enzymes are destroyed at 108 degrees so try to keep your fixins KooL for good health and good digestion.