Cooked vs Raw

by Polly N on September 28, 2010

In my article More Raw which explains why raw food is so good for us, I mentioned that the vitamin content in food is dramatically reduced when cooked. But that’s not all. A lot of people have been asking me lately whether the things they are eating, like steamed vegetables, rice, foods from tins etc are “okay”. Well, the answer is “it depends”.

It depends on whether you are willing to live with mediocre health or whether you want to live vibrantly.

Here’s the lowdown on cooked food so you can decide for yourself;

Whole natural foods that have been processed, had things added to, or taken away from them and/or heated to high temperatures actually end up being severely damaged. These processes cause the food to chemically change form with the direct result leaving that food with very little of the goodness it originally contained.

It has been proven that a process called leukocytosis occurs; this is where the body’s immune system sends an army of white blood cells soaring to the digestive system in order to destroy what the body perceives to be an “invader”. This immediately puts your body into a stressful “fight or flight” mode, activating the release of chemicals such as cortisol and andrenaline. Although we may not feel it as the “stress” we experience almost daily, whether it be boarding a packed-out train, dealing with an imbecilic boss or being cut up on the motorway, our body prepares us to flee, sending blood into our limbs incase we need to escape. (We needed this function much more back when we were living in caves and hunting dinosaurs but now; not so much, unless of course you’re walking through Brixton late at night!)

All this activity in our body expends our energy and puts it under duress leaving us feeling less than the energetic vibrant beings we were born to be!

Even if you know nothing about nutrition - i hope your common sense tells you that this is definitely not going to nourish you!

Can we still get some nutrition from cooked food? The answer to this is yes we can, however it’s nowhere near as abundant as it once was as a WHOLE food. Food that is cooked, packaged in a can, box or bag loses up to 70% of the vitamins, some of the minerals, ALL of the enzymes, ALL of the oxygen and the majority of the water content.

So how can you counteract leukocytosis? If you can’t bear the thought of being without your cooked food, then to lessen the negative impact on your body, eat a ratio of 50:50 cooked to raw food. The enzymes in the raw food help to break down the cooked food, which contain no enzymes whatsoever – none/diddly squat/ZERO!

If you’re wondering what the hell you can eat on a raw diet other than salad and mung beans, here is a list of all the food groups that fall into the raw food category;

Fresh fruits; Vegetables; Salad vegetables; Nuts; Leafy green vegetables;  Dried fruits; Beans, pulses and legumes (sprouted); Grains (sprouted); Seeds; Sprouting seeds; Indoor greens; Herbs and wild greens; Superfoods; Vegetable seeds (sprouted); Edible flowers; Mushrooms; Sea vegetables; Algaes; Oils; Stimulants (eg. chilli, ginger); Spices; Flavourings and natural sweeteners (e.g. agave nectar, stevia).

Sea Vegetables

Surprised by that? Thought so!

If I’ve managed to convince you even just a teeny bit and you want to get started straight away with a few recipes that take less than 10 minutes, download the free recipe ebook on the right hand side at the top of the page!

If you want some more convincing about how raw food can benefit you, check out 25 Rawsons.

Happy uncooking!


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Henry Matthews September 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Hi Polly – you may not remember me but we were at school together for a while. Just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your second diagnosis, but also to wish you all the best with your programme. If anyone deserves to stay healthy it’s you! It’s really inspiring meeting genuine passion and belief and you’ve got it in spades. Keep going with it and I’ll be learning some tips on better eating from you. Take care, H


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