Raw food diets have become popular over recent decades, so if you’re looking into improving your health you may have come across this concept already. Today I’m going to reveal some of the research and give you my view on this subject.
There is some evidence that raw food is healthier than cooked food. Cooking food destroys nutrients and enzymes, alters the structure and, thus, digestibility of food, and creates byproducts that may be harmful. For example, cooking vegetables decreases water-soluble and heat sensitive nutrients, such as carotenoids. The insoluble fiber in vegetables, which helps decrease fecal transit time and increase binding and excretion of carcinogens, decreases as a result of cooking. (15)
Let’s look at some of the evidence.
Raw food vs cooked food
Cooked foods, and especially meat, contain harmful toxins, which can cause chronic disease and other problems, including trans-fatty acids produced by heating oil, acrylamide produced by frying (1), advanced glycation end products (2) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (3).
All of these processes essentially denature or disrupt the natural molecular structure of the food making it less available for our biological functions.
Apart from the obvious molecular damage caused by overcooking, especially barbecueing and frying food, there are subtle benefits from consuming raw,live food. Plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, which contain significant amounts of bioactive phytochemicals, may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Evidence suggests that consumption of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits has positive implications for human health so we want to preserve the living bioactivity of this food if possible. (4)
Apart from the obvious preservation of naturally occuring nutrients, are there more mysterious reasons to consume raw food. One of those bioactive components potentially overlooked, is light. I will be sharing my unique and possibly challenging standpoint on this particular topic.
You may find this article opens a new door for sourcing extra energy in your life.
Raw food diet and weight loss
In one study involving 216 men and 297 women consuming long-term (3.7 years) raw food diets showed an average weight loss of 9.9 kg for men and 12 kg for women. (12)
Body mass index (BMI) was below the normal weight range which indicated that consumption of a raw food diet is associated with a high loss of body weight. Since many raw food dieters became underweight and stopped menstruating, a very strict raw food diet would not be recommended on a long-term basis. (12)
My suggestions is to eat a 70-80% raw food diet in order to lose weight steadily and maintain a healthy metabolism and only go 100% strict raw for short periods of time, for example, when detoxing over 2 weeks or slimming over 1 month.
Raw food diet prevents chronic disease.
Another study involving 4,336 men and 6,435 women showed that daily consumption of fresh fruit was associated with significantly reduced mortality from ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and for malignant neoplasms, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. (13)
A further study indicateted that consumption of a strict raw food diet clearly lowers plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. (15)
Raw food diet and improved mental health.
Higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, rich in micronutrients, have been associated with better mental health. However, cooking or processing may reduce the availability of these important micronutrients. (14)
This study investigated the differential associations between intake of raw fruits and vegetables, compared to processed (cooked or canned) fruits and vegetables, and mental health in young adults. (14)
422 young adults ages 18–25 (66.1% female) living in New Zealand and the United States completed an online survey that assessed typical consumption of raw vs. cooked/canned/processed fruits and vegetables, negative and positive mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety, negative mood, positive mood, life satisfaction, and flourishing), and other factors (including socio-economic status, body mass index, sleep, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use). (14)
Results: Raw fruit and vegetable intake reduced depressive symptoms and increased positive mood, life satisfaction, and flourishing. (14)
The top 10 raw foods related to better mental health were carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens like spinach, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumber, and kiwifruit. Applications include recommending the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables to maximize mental health benefits. (14)
The detrimental effects of over-cooking food
Studies show that blanching, boiling, microwaving, and stir-frying affect the nutrient composition, phytochemical contents, antioxidant activity, and phenolic profiles of food. (5) Pasteurization or heat processing during the manufacture of packaged foods, especially juices and milk also reduces the level of bioactive compounds, especially antioxidants. (6)
Results of one study show a general decrease in the levels of all the studied compounds except for mineral nutrients which were stable under all cooking conditions. Vitamin C showed the greatest losses mainly because of degradation and leaching, whereas losses for phenolic compounds and glucosinolates were mainly due to leaching into the water. (7)
There is no real value in dead food, especially meats and they are actually toxic to us. Over time, by-products of dead food will accumulate and you will need to do a detox/body cleanse program to feel better.
Light is captured by photosynthesis and this captured light energy is released again during cellular metabolism of sugar and fat. (See Sunlight – Can we tap into this source of energy?)
Think of it this way. Heat, light, and electricity are all simply variations of the same thing, an electromagnetic energy form. See diagram below. The electromagnetic energy that radiates from our body is what constitutes our life force and indicates that we are alive. It’s exactly the same with food. If we process our food in a factory with chemicals, irradiate, fumigate, pasteurize and then cook it to death before eating, is any electromagnetic life force left?
This electromagnetic radiation is often referred to as an Aura, an indication of life force, chi or spirit. It has been measured by Russian scientists since the 1930s by a method called Kirlian photography. I’m not going to fully explain Kirlian photography here, but this sophisticated method of photography shows that there is an electrical field around living things which is destroyed by cooking. (11)
What does this mean when it comes to your diet? In a nutshell “eat bright food”. If food has a lot of color then it has a lot of light and will give you a lot of energy. Colors are indicators of vitamins and minerals, so the more color, the more beneficial nutrients.
The more colorful the food, the more light it contains, for example, a flower. Brightly colored flowers are light-capturing devices and are full of light and fruits emerge from the flower heads on most plants.
Let’s now consider fruit. The fruit absorbs light to ripen and stores light in carbohydrates and other nutrients. The ripe fruit is a powerful light source and can give you almost instant energy. The living fruit picked directly off the tree will give you the most life force possible. There is nothing on earth that could compare with fresh fruit as a fast energy source.
Then you have fresh raw vegetables. These contain light, life force, enzymes and healing properties galore.
It’s easy to see just how extremely good ‘live food’ is for our health.
Healing food avoidance
So why don’t we feel like eating raw vegetables when we are under stress? The main reason is that by triggering high energy within our body by eating live food we trigger the detox process. By triggering detox we bring out toxins and these include emotional and mental toxins. Maybe we are not ready for these so we delay the detox process by burying ourselves and our energy in dead food.
Highly processed, artificially flavored junk, dead meats, sticky glutinous starches, and overcooked foods constitute dead food.
Raw food Detox diet plan
According to one medical trial, “long-term consumption of a 70% raw-plant-food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. (8) Another study from Germany found that a long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favorable plasma beta-carotene and plasma lycopene concentrations. (9)
Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (all rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better serum glucose control. These factors contribute to the reduction of chronic disease. (10)
This is why our Brett Elliott Ultimate Herbal DETOX diet includes lots of raw, fresh fruits and vegetables. This allows your body to cleanse toxins and to feel energized and healed at the same time. People who eat raw food or vegetarian diets report vastly higher energy levels and general happiness.
One study mentioned the benefits of a Raw Vegan diet for lowering obesity and hypertension. Another study has also shown reduced fibromyalgia symptoms for those on a Raw Vegan Diet as well as reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to another study.
You will find after the Brett Elliott Ultimate Herbal DETOX program that the increase in energy is so profound that normally your diet naturally leans towards more raw food thereafter.
A 70-80% raw food diet is recommended. Having some of the raw food at the beginning of the meal is best, as it triggers positive enzymatic digestion and immune responses which help you absorb your nutrients better.
As part of our Ultimate Herbal Detox and Slim programs raw food is high on the menu, so this may partially explain why people achieve such outstanding results.
I hope this has been helpful
Brett Elliott ©
(1) Consumption of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23335051, A prospective study on dietary acrylamide intake and the risk for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693310
(2) The relationship between dietary advanced glycation end products and indicators of diabetes severity in Mexicans and non-Hispanic whites: a pilot study. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22779780
(3) Association of cooking oil fumes exposure with lung cancer: involvement of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins in cell survival and proliferation in vitro. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17229588
(4) Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
(5) Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Fresh and Processed White Cauliflower. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793502/, Influence of cooking on the levels of bioactive compounds in Purple Majesty potato observed via chemical and spectroscopic means. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25466046, Anthocyanin, phenolics and antioxidant activity changes in purple waxy corn as affected by traditional cooking. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24996364
(6) Effect of thermal processing on the profile of bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of fermented orange juice. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27385558
(7) Effects of microwave cooking conditions on bioactive compounds present in broccoli inflorescences. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17979232
(8) Long-term consumption of a raw food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides but also with elevated plasma homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol in humans. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16177198
(9) Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favorable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in Germans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18028575
(10) Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704
(11) Kirlian Photography Shows Organic Uncooked Food To Have Stronger Energy Fields (Video) https://youtu.be/JeAAzRUjdmk
(12) Consequences of a long-term raw food diet on body weight and menstruation: results of a questionnaire survey. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10436305
(13) Dietary habits and mortality in 11,000 vegetarians and health conscious people: results of a 17 year follow up. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8842068
(14) Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5902672/
(15) Long-Term Consumption of a Raw Food Diet Is Associated with Favorable Serum LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides but Also with Elevated Plasma Homocysteine and Low Serum HDL Cholesterol in Humans. Oxford Journal of Nutrition. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/135/10/2372/4669843
(16) Factors affecting adherence to a raw vegan diet. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3635096/