We all know that eating mostly vegetables and protein is the best way to a healthier lifestyle. But when it comes to vegetables and plants, is raw always better? If you’re already a vegetarian or vegan, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about going raw. While many vegetables don’t lose a ton of nutrients from being cooked, eating raw food can allow for more absorption of vitamins from uncooked, unheated produce. It can also be a great way for your body to recognize intolerances more quickly as well as paving the way for a healthier, more balanced diet. Whether you’re searching for the best raw food specialist Melville NY Caterer or doing some research on cleaner living, here are some health benefits you can expect from going raw.
Because many of the foods we eat in a mostly processed diet can lead to gut problems, indigestion, and inflammation, taking the time to try a raw diet can have a major impact on their way our bodies break down food on a daily basis. While cooked foods often ferment in the body during digestion, raw foods are able to alkalize during digestion, reducing the risk of inflammation and avoiding triggering any autoimmune issues. Food cooked over a certain temperature can lose a lot of its ability to break down easily in the body, making our digestive system work harder and creating an inflamed atmosphere that results in physical discomfort. Eating raw fruits and vegetables allows the body to use the naturally-occurring enzymes in these foods to quickly and easily break them down for energy use.
More Vitamins and Nutrients
Cooking food at a heat above 112 degrees doesn’t just make it harder to digest: It also robs certain vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens like kale and collards, of a lot of their nutritional value. In addition to having more live enzymes and probiotics that help strengthen our immune systems, raw greens in particular come packed with the antioxidants and nutrients that help better protect us from inflammation and disease. Because heat tends to “denature” or compromise certain vegetables, cooking can easily change their nutritional value. Certain enzymes and nutrients simply can’t withstand heat, and many plants become extremely hard to digest without the proper enzymes. Because of this, heating food before eating not only takes away many of its health benefits, it causes our bodies to have a harder time breaking it down.
No Processed Foods
One of the most important aspects of a raw diet is that leaving food raw means it’s less compromised in terms of the way it comes to us before eating. For instance, while soybeans are considered to be healthy, the process by which soybeans become soymilk involves heating at high temperatures, adding preservatives and (often) sugar, and packaging the product so that it can sit on the shelf for a long time. While there’s nothing wrong with this process, it doesn’t allow us to reap the same nutritional benefits that we might from eating soybeans themselves. Similarly, cooking vegetables usually means adding a fair amount of oil and salt in addition to heat. Even sautéing vegetables requires added fat and calories, and steaming vegetables breaks down important enzymes that our bodies need to better digest them. Many studies have shown that eating fewer processed foods leads to better heart health, lower cholesterol, and sustainable weight loss. Taking processed foods out of the equation doesn’t just make you healthier: It can also seriously reduce the risk of cancer associated with processed meats and fast foods that rely on deep frying and unhealthy oils to prepare and season ingredients.
Our bodies come with a natural acidic balance that helps us stay healthy. While our bodies need to retain a normal level of alkaline, there’s a point at which our pH levels become too alkaline and end up compromising our health. When our bodies are over-acidic, we might not see any changes at first. However, when acid levels rise, our immune system becomes weakened and we become more vulnerable to disease. Changing acid levels in the body can have a lot to do with external stressors like air quality and pollution. High acid levels can also be a result of eating too many processed foods and not ingesting enough naturally-acidic fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and leafy greens. Creating the right alkaline balance has a lot to do with eating raw foods that help neutralize pre-existing acid in the body while balancing out our pH levels.