Raw food is purely that – raw. Food that has not been heated or cooked above a certain temperature. Consuming only raw food is becoming more popular these days with the belief that when you heat food it destroys the nutrients and natural enzymes found in that food. Essentially this involves eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. Depending on the exact philosophy of the person following this it usually includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, eggs, fish, meat and dairy products. In some cases it can also involve fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut.
Eating raw food can help build up mineral stores and is also high in fibre. Raw foods are mostly plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals. Foods that are raw contain enzymes that are meant to help digest the components of food and they have a higher alkalinity, which helps the metabolism to function properly. A lot of the vitamins such as Vitamin B and C and minerals from certain foods can be lost when they are cooked.
However, in some cases cooking food can boost nutrients like beta-carotene, found in most orange coloured vegetables and lycopene found in vegetables like tomatoes. It can also kill bacteria, helping you avoid any food poisoning. Heating and cooking also allows for variety to your eating to take place, enabling you to enjoy many different types of meals. In those winter months there is definitely something to be said for a warm bowl of vegetable soup or another warming meal; a salad just wouldn’t seem the same!
As with most things, we believe in balance. Eating lots of raw vegetables and fruit is definitely good for you, and is great during the warmer months when the weather is hotter but remember there are seasons for a reason and we believe in enjoying warmer foods during the cooler seasons as well. The key is to eat healthily, whatever season it is and enjoy not only the food but the experience that goes with it, whether it be the company of your family, time out on your own or a social engagement with friends.