Recently, I helped with a raw food seminar and while there learned some interesting things. The main reason for going towards more raw foods rather than cooked is because of digestive enzymes, which are either destroyed or greatly reduced by too much heat.
The dictionary describes enzymes as complex organic substances originating from living cells and are capable of producing by catalytic action certain chemical changes in organic substances. That’s quite a mouthful, but it boils down to living matter that aids in digesting and absorbing the nutrients from our food. Much of indigestion may be solved by eating food in as near a natural state as possible.
Most food enzymes are pretty much destroyed under conditions used to cook and process foods, leaving them devoid of enzyme activity. This places the full digestive burden on the body, causing it to be overstressed, which results in improper digestion and mal-absorption of nutrients. The far reaching effects can include impaired immunity, allergic reaction, poor wound healing, skin problems and mood swings to name a few.
I can see some folk throwing up their hands, saying, “What! Is a person to only eat fresh fruit, raw nuts and veggie salads?” Let me ease your possible concern. It’s true, we need the nutrition from grains and legumes as well as fruits, veggies and nuts. It’s also true that grains and legumes are not very compatible with human digestion in their dried state. But, when sprouted, their composition is changed, and they become more digestible. Also,using the preparation methods of soaking, sprouting, marinating and dehydrating at no higher than 110 degrees helps in creating a variety of tasty recipes that are enzyme alive. Seeking to increase one’s ratio of raw to cooked food up to 75-80% raw versus 20-25% cooked is good goal to reach towards.
Taking enzyme supplements in pill, capsule, or tablet form helps, but one still needs to incorporate a healthy life style by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, drinking sufficient water, and eating a variety of fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables prepared in as natural and simple manner as possible. Add to this an attitude of gratitude and a spirit of benevolence, and you have a fairly rounded package for good health.
Raw Food and Enzymes (Click to Return to the Top of the Page)
Enzymes and Digestion