A few years ago, I did a Detox requiring eating only raw fruits and vegetables. This meant that all meat and all dairy products were excluded from my diet. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I do enjoy a good barbecue on the weekends.

I did the Detox for two weeks and ended up learning a lot about the foods I was eating. And, because I love to cook, it just added to my variety of recipes.

Raw food has had a bit of a stigma with some nutritionists arguing that cooked vegetables have more nutritional value than raw ones. You can find information that could back up both arguments.

I like to incorporate both cooked and uncooked fruits and vegetables in my diet because I feel that you should enjoy wholesome organic food however you desire.

The fundamental thought behind eating raw is that our body receives the maximum amount of nutrients from the food we eat because it is not exposed to high temperatures. Meaning once its heated, it “loses its nutritional value.” Raw food and living food are often placed in the same category. Both raw and living food preparing consists of preparing food that is fresh, frozen and sometimes dried.

Vegetables, fruits, berries, seeds, nuts and sprouts are considered to be raw as long as they are not heated higher than approximately 104 degrees, allowing for the most optimal consumption of these foods nutrients.

Living food consists of soaking, sprouting and fermenting many of the ingredients that are used in food preparation. These preparation requirements can prove to be too time consuming for most. The benefits are that these foods are often less costly and they are easily incorporated into your diet.  

How do you get your daily nutritious needs meet eating raw? It’s simple, you find foods that are rich in the nutrients you need in proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Here are some key benefits to eating raw foods:

Protein

The most protein rich raw food sources are nuts, almonds, certain grains and sprouts. Because protein acts as building blocks in our bodies, it is important that with any diet or lifestyle change you incorporate protein to build muscle.

Carbohydrates

These are the body and brain’s source of fuel. There are simple and complex carbohydrates. Most every ingredient in raw food contains carbohydrates. This helps ensure that our blood sugar level is stable throughout the day. Fruits, vegetables and grains all contain carbohydrates.

Fat

Fat is essential to our body. We need it in order to produce certain hormones to protect our internal organs.  However, too much of anything can prove to not be healthy. Consuming fats based on fried foods, dairy products or processed meats can result in catastrophic results. Through eating nuts, seeds and cold pressed oils we get the healthy types of fats that help our bodies need. High fatty foods like avocado, macadamia nuts and cashews are used in a lot of raw recipes.

If you live in a big city, you can find most of the core raw food ingredients at your local grocery store or health food store. Products can sometimes be harder to find depending on where you live and what you are looking for.

To find the most wholesome and nutritious foods go to your local farmer’s market, try your local natural foods stores or your local community supported agriculture. Cooking based on what is in season is key; this allows for the freshest and healthiest quality of food to enjoy its nutritious value. 

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you, whether it’s cooked or not. You decide to make better choices every day, so why not try adding some variety into your diet.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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