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healing foods
exploring the raw life
by lisa Turner
I went raw once, and did so with a great deal of enthusiasm for the health benefits I would
accrue. Certainly, eating only uncooked food seemed easy enough. Make a bunch of salads,
gorge on apples and oranges, eat raw nuts, sprout some beans—piece of cake, I thought.
After three weeks, all I wanted was a piece of cake. And bread. And hot, hot soups. Slowly
but surely, after two months I returned to my old eating habits and to my beloved stove.
I didn’t know what I know now: With a few simple tricks, we can conquer cooked-food
cravings, as well as other common obstacles to a raw foods diet.
Multiple Benefits
allow the body to spend its energy on es—besides the yummy taste. Heat
The payoff for eating raw foods makes
other important functions. “If the body’s actually makes some nutrients, like
it worthwhile. When you cook food
working on trying to digest heavy, lycopene, in tomatoes, more bioavail-
above 114 degrees, it destroys the en-
difficult-to-process food, it can’t focus able by breaking down the plant’s cell
zymes that help you digest and assimi-
on healing,” says Natalia Rose, author of walls. Cooking also destroys so-called
late the food. High temperatures also
The Raw Food Detox Diet. “anti-nutrients;” for example, phytates
alter the chemical structure of vital nu-
The potential benefit of going raw in grains and legumes, which block
trients. Overall, “You lose 50 percent of
is more radiant health. Says Cousens, mineral absorption, as well as trypsin
the protein, 80 percent of the vitamins
“A live foods diet decreases inflamma- inhibitors in nuts and legumes, which
and minerals and about 95 percent of
tion, slows the aging process, increases hamper protein digestion. However,
the phytonutrients,” says Gabriel Cous-
immunity and energy and results in soaking and sprouting raw food helps
ens, a medical doctor and author of
increased mental, physical and spiritual break down these compounds, too.
Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine.
well-being.” More importantly, raw foods don’t
By enhancing nutrient absorption
Keep in mind though that cooking work for everyone. Both traditional Chi-
and making digestion easier, raw foods
your food does carry some advantag- nese medicine and ayurvedic traditions
24 New Haven/Middlesex Counties
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