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Why Eat Raw Food?

The Raw Food Diet is based on the belief that food that is uncooked and in its natural state, is best for the body. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 42 degrees Celsius. The fundamentals of the raw food dietclaim your body’s ability to absorb nutrients is enhanced through the consumption of food in its natural state. Melons, avocados, nuts consumed in moderation, as well as green vegetables and natural fruits are primary ingredients of raw food diets.


Cooking is known to kill enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain.

Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat. Other foods, however, become more healthful after cooking, because the fibrous portion is broken down. For example, cooked tomatoes contain three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes.   Cooking also promotes the formation of potentially harmful compounds in food during high heat cooking, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines.

Vegetables and fruits lose minerals and nutrients when cooked, so consumption of food like apples with the skin provides your body more of these ingredients, while processed foods contain added chemicals and colors, including more sodium, reports the Mayo Clinic website. Advocates of raw food diets suggest users will have more energy, healthier skin and even a lower risk for diseases like cancer, although no research has been conducted to support these claims.


raw bruschetta – photo credit holisticprimarycare


Raw foods have been promoted for many years as a cure-all for a variety of health conditions, including cancer and heart disease. Research is lacking to support claims about the healing power of raw foods, although a raw food diet contains ingredients with beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Raw food consumption carries risks as well, according to the Mayo Clinic website, so consult your physician before starting any diet.

The fundamental principle behind raw foodism, also sometimes called rawism, is that plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed – are also the most wholesome for the body. The raw food diet is a lifestyle choice. It is not a weight loss plan. Sticking to a raw food diet isn’t easy. Most raw foodists spend a lot of 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
  • nuts
  • fruits

Alcohol, refined sugars, and caffeine are taboo.

Most raw foodists are raw food vegans, who eat no animal products, but some do eat raw eggs and cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk. i.e. this is a strict vegetarian, even vegan diet, with the extra condition that nothing is cooked. However, that doesn’t mean that food must be cold, and there are even soup recipes using the raw food rules. Food can be heated to 116°F, dehydrated, blended into shakes and juiced, and gourmet recipes like pesto and olive spreads lend themselves well to the diet. Eggs, meat of all kinds and milk are off limits, which means that all protein comes from nuts, legumes, seeds and raw fermented soy products like miso. There is no limit to the amount of calories which can be eaten, as long as everything is raw and vegetarian.

Living Food Cafe is where I got my raw nuts as seen in the first photo above. This place does delicious raw food meals as well. The café has two certified living food chefs, a Canadian and a Malaysian. Living Food Bistro-Café is located at G-04 ground floor Menara Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, 55000 Kuala Lumpur.


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