The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature varies among those in the raw food community). Cooking is thought to denature the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain.
Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat. Other foods, however, become more healthful after cooking, because the fibrous portion is broken down. For example, cooked tomatoes contain three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Cooking also promotes the formation of potentially harmful compounds in food during high heat cooking, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. Raw food detox diets or cleanses are entering the mainstream. People typically go on a detox diet for 3 to 21 days. After the detox diet or cleanse, they may continue a raw food diet, return to their regular diet, or try to improve their daily diet by consuming more raw foods.
What Do I Eat on a Raw Food Diet?
There are different ways that people follow a raw food diet. Most people who follow a raw food diet are vegan. The percentage of raw food is usually 70 percent or more of the diet. I’m a raw from 70% to 80% but I’m not comfortable to go totally raw and especially in winter I like to eat warm soup, and in summer a lot of legume’s salad like this:
Legumes, also called pulses (primarily in the U.K.), is another name for beans, peas, and lentils. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tempeh, and texturized vegetable protein. Legumes are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins, and other nutrients that may prevent cancer and heart disease.
According to the Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the following are the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables. Two (2) or more servings a day. Legumes, which is another name for beans, peas, and lentils, are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soy milk, tempeh, and texturized vegetable protein. Serving size: cup cooked beans • 4 ounces tofu or tempeh • 8 ounces soy milk
I’ll sugget you to read this book: Legumes: Properties, Nutrition, Consumption and Health (on pages 65-88) and this funny but also interesting article To Bean Or Not To Bean, That Is The Question (Legumes, Lectins, and Human Health)
I’ve been trying many different recipes. Everyone enjoys the comforting old-fashioned flavor of this vegetable soup.
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
3/4 cup dried green split peas
3 quarts vegetal broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1/4 teaspoon curry (or berbere)
3/4 leaf or fresh basil
Soak the legumes overnight. In a large pot, pour the vegetal broth and cook the legumes with other ingredients for 30 minutes hours or until the lentils and peas are tender. Serve with fresh basil and mixed seeds.
Foods high in bad fats, sugar and chemicals are directly linked to many negative emotions, whereas whole, natural foods rich in nutrients – foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes – contribute to greater energy and positive emotions. Marilu Henner quotes