10 Jul Eating raw for anti ageing
Eating raw for anti ageing – Does Eating Raw Really Slow the Ageing Process?
How old do you think this woman is? While Annette’s husband of 54 years really wishes he had done what she had done, Annette attributes a raw vegan diet for her youthful looks. Annette is up at 5.30am, eats fruits, seeds, sprouts, and juices just about anything. While she may look 40, she is in fact more than 70 years of age. Annette’s husband is often asked “is this woman your wife.” Or “I see you’ve got your grand daughter with you!” *
The fundamental principle behind raw foodism, also called ‘rawism’, is that plant foods in their most natural state (uncooked and unprocessed) are the most wholesome for the body. Devotees insist that a diet consisting mainly of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods leads to a leaner body, clearer skin, and higher energy. I know from my experience of detoxing and cleansing the body and mind that this is indeed the case.
‘Rawists’ believe that as enzymes are the life force of food, cooking food denatures the enzymes naturally present in food and their life force. So, if we over-consume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by having to produce more enzymes in order to digest the food. The human pancreas, which is responsible for producing enzymes, is often ballooned to 2 – 3 times its natural size in order to cope with the haphazard combination of empty and dead food that modern man habitually gorges himself with. Indeed, lack of enzymes from food leads to severe digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated ageing, weight gain, and more serious health disorders – raw foodists say that the solution is to turn to a raw food diet.
There are different ways that people can follow a raw food diet. Most people who follow a raw food diet are vegan. Some consume raw animal products such as raw milk, cheese made from raw milk, sashimi, ceviche (raw fish), or carpaccio (raw meat). Some people eat only raw foods, while others include cooked food for variety and convenience.
The percentage of raw food is usually 70 percent or more of the diet. Sticking to a 100% raw food diet isn’t easy, as I have found out myself!
When I made the switch over to 100% raw food, I seemed to spend most of my time in the kitchen peeling, chopping, straining, blending, and dehydrating. That’s because the diet is typically made up of 75% fruits and vegetables. Staples of the raw food diet include seaweed, sprouts, sprouted seeds, whole grains, beans, dried fruits and nuts.
The benefits of eating raw food are numerous. The raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical western diet. It is also low in sodium and sugar and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fibre, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants. These properties are associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. The raw food diet is also thought to have a favourable acid-alkaline balance, being low in acid-forming food – maintaining good alkaline levels in the bloodstream is critical to human health and longevity.
Besides these immediate benefits, the raw food diet may theoretically slow the ageing process and reduce inflammation, because it contains fewer advanced glycation end products and other potentially damaging compounds.
On balance, the verdict on whether a 100% raw food diet is healthy is mixed. If you’re a healthy adult who likes to prepare food but not necessarily cook and you have no problem giving up meat or dairy, the raw food diet might be for you. And, while I believe that eating raw food has a significant contribution to make to human health and longevity, caution should be exercised when adopting a 100% raw diet. I am inclined to advocate a 50% raw food intake to optimise human health and longevity.
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* Most significantly, while Annette’s husband takes pills for his high blood pressure and diabetes, Annette does not take any pills at all, for anything. Does Eating Raw Really Slow the Ageing Process?