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Raw Food Health


Raw Food Health means getting the most out of life that you possibly can, by following an optimal diet.

By following a raw food diet, you'll avoid all the nutritional pitfalls of cooked food, giving your body all the live enzymes and nutrients it needs to truly thrive.

“We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police.”
- Jeff Arder

Raw Food Health: What's the downside of cooked food?

Lifetime athlete, raw foodist and Raw Food Health advocate since 1978, Dr. Douglas Graham states that once food is cooked, it can never be, nutritionally, what it was before. It is widely accepted that when heated to above about 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 42 degrees Centigrade, the vital, living enzymes that are contained in raw vegetables and fruit, and which are needed for proper digestion – are killed – so in effect the food becomes dead.

As Steve Charter, author of Eat More Raw: A Guide to Health and Sustainability puts it, we are constantly putting food in our body which is unnatural or denatured (cooked and processed foods) which requires our body to manufacture enzymes. This drains the body of its life force, leading to physical degeneration, illness, disease and premature ageing.

Of course, cooking food also removes most of its water content, making it harder to absorb and digest. This water loss cannot be replaced by drinking water, juices or any other ‘supplement’ (it simply does not compare). In fact, most people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing it.  Cooking food also eliminates significant amounts of vitamins, protein and vital nutrients.

What’s more, because heated foods are nutritionally inferior, Dr. Douglas Graham points out that people commonly overeat cooked food, leading to obesity. Their stomachs feel full, but their cells crave nutrients and remain nutritionally starved.

When you eat cooked food your body reacts as if poisoned. This triggers an immune response called leukocytosis where the white blood cells increase up to 300%. Leukocytosis was once considered a normal reaction to eating, but it does not happen when we eat raw food.

"The story of barbecue is the story of America:  Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches, set them on fire and eat them". 

~ Vince Staten

Raw Food Health: The scoop on enzymes

Most foods in nature contains the enzymes needed to break them down, but when we cook food we destroy those enzymes. Says Steve Charter: “We cannot properly digest our food without the full complement of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in our food – they all work together for proper digestion”.

This means we have to break them down ourselves using our own digestive or bodily enzymes. These digestive and bodily enzymes are nowhere near as efficient as natural ones and our body has to work hard to create them, drawing much-needed resources away from our immune system, and creating a higher propensity for sickness and disease.

Studies have shown that our immune system often reacts to the introduction of cooked food to the bloodstream in the same way as it does to foreign pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi: The body literally attacks the food, sending an army of white blood cells, states Douglas Graham.

Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry at Wright State University School of Medicine concluded that “most foods undergo a decrease in nutritive value in addition to the well-known loss of vitamins when cooked and/or processed.”

Dr Joel Fuhrman states that most vitamins are heat-sensitive, for example 20–60 percent of vitamin C is lost, depending on the cooking method, while 30-40 of minerals are lost when cooking vegetables as well. Thus consuming a vast quantity of raw foods is essential for superior health. He encourages his patients to eat huge salads and at least four fresh fruits per day.

Raw Food Health vs Standard American Diet (SAD).

In today's society, we are sicker than ever before. Obesity has recently been declared a National Epidemic by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control).

25.8 million people (children and adults), or 8.3 percent of the population, have diabetes at the moment, while another 79 million people have prediabetic symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Worldwide statistics reveal that diabetes affects 246 million people, and that number is expected to rise to 380 million by the year 2025. Alarming figures, given that American Health Care Systems have spent trillions of dollars in allopathic medical research to control diabetes.

The American Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics disclose that every day, nearly 2200 Americans die of some type of cardiovascular disease, with a coronary event happening every 25 seconds. On average, there is a death every 39 seconds, and 7.1 million Americans have had a heart attack during their lifetimes. Those who survive often go on to have another heart attack later on.

A report released by the American Heart Association in 2011 revealed that by 2030, 40 percent of U.S. adults, or 116 million people, will have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, and costs will triple from  USD 272.5 billion to USD 818.1 billion a year.

Most heart disease is preventable with better diet and more exercise, they claim. A recent analysis using the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model estimated that just by reducing dietary salt by 3 grams per day per person, the annual new cases of heart disease would decrease by 60,000, stroke by 32,000, and  heart attack by 54,000 and reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 ", it noted.

Meanwhile, American Cancer Association statistics are just as frightening. In 2011, about 571,950 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. In the US, cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.

The report suggests that about one-third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2011 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition and thus could also be prevented.

America's top killers: Heart Disease, Strokes, Cancer, Diabetes are completely avoidable diseases that have natural cures. Meanwhile, other illnesses including chronic respiratory diseases (eg. emphysema), Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and numerous others including the common cold affect millions more lives, causing widespread pain and misery.

Raw Food Health: Eating raw food for a disease-free life

So what's the solution you may be wondering? Following a raw food health path, of course. I highly recommend reading a review of the documentary Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, educate yourself on the work Dr. Joel Fuhrman is doing, Dr. Douglas Graham, Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn and various other reputed doctor's and scientists, and eventually to embrace the best diet of all for health, the raw food diet.

Watch an interview with Dr. Dean Ornish about how easily disease can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle below.

Your lifestyle - how you live, eat and think - determines your health. To prevent disease, you may have to change how you live.
- Brian Carter

Raw Food Health: Further scientific evidence

A study in The Journal of Nutrition found that following a raw food diet long-term can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower the levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides* (please see box below).

Another study conducted by Dr. Luigi Fontana and his team found that followers of a raw food health diet have low body mass index (BMI), high Vitamin D levels (closely related to bone strength), low levels of C-reactive protein (reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases), and lower levels of IGF-1 (growth factor linked to risk of breast and prostate cancer).

Another study conducted by Lenka J. Zajic (who holds a Masters in Vegan and Live Food Nutrition from the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Centre in Arizona) on long-term raw food diet followers over two years, showed some interesting results. The study revealed marked improvement in immunity, digestion, allergies, weight moderation, chronic illness, and mental, and emotional well-being, as well as an improvement in menstrual cycles.

What's more, Lenka's study revealed that 82.5% of respondents lost weight after switching to a live foods diet. 75% of those not already at their ideal weight reported reaching it after transitioning to a live foods diet.

By now it should be clear that those following a raw food health path experience greater health benefits than those that don't. Ultimately, it would be wonderful to see more raw food health studies coming up in future, as together, we make the raw food diet mainstream.


*The study also found that 38% of the raw foodists had low levels of B12, indicating a B12 deficiency. However, the study doesn't note what percentage of those eating an animal diet had a B12 deficiency.

Once thought to occur only in vegetarians or the elderly, suboptimal B12 levels are found in nearly 40 percent of Americans of all ages, according to the recent Framingham Offspring Study (more on this here). 

Researchers of the Framingham Offspring Study found no association between plasma B12 levels and meat, poultry, and fish intake, even though these foods supply the bulk of B12 in the diet. “It’s not because people aren’t eating enough meat,” Tucker said. “The vitamin isn’t getting absorbed.”

The study recommends eating fortified cereals and more dairy. Unsurprising, considering it was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.


It is a wise mans part, rather to avoid sickness, than to wishe for medicines.  ~ Thomas More

Related Articles:

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet: Get inspired! Learn what the top 15 raw food diet benefits really are.

Raw Food Weight Loss: Imagine feeling full and satisfied all the time, and dropping weight! Learn how to eat right, be inspired by raw food diet weight loss success stories and get the top weight loss tips and guides.

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil: If you've ever thought that olive oil is good for you, or heart-healthy, or that you can eat as much good fats as you want, this article is for you. Find out the truth now.

Save the Earth with a Raw Food Diet: Adopt a raw food diet and reduce your carbon and water footprint instantly, leading to a more sustainable way of living that will ultimately save the earth.

The Human Omnivore or Carnivore Myth: Find out whether there is such a thing as a human omnivore or carnivore in this article.

The Longevity Diet: The longevity diet gives you a blueprint for health, happiness and long-lasting life. Discover the diet and lifestyle similarities between the world's longest-living tribes.

Raw Food Travel Tips: At last, Raw Food Travel Tips allows you to travel as a raw vegan without worrying that you're going to fall off the wagon. Find out the best strategies for remaining committed to raw food, anytime, anywhere.

Return from Raw Food Health to the Raw Vegan Diet

Return from Raw Food Health to Eco-friendly Africa Travel


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