What Exactly are Raw Foods?
Raw foods are foods that have not been cooked. They are the fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs we have all come to know and love in their whole, natural state.
Once raw food is heated above a certain temperature, the food is considered to be cooked. Many define this point as the temperature where the particular food’s enzymes are destroyed.
Enzymes are the catalysts of life and that all foods come with naturally occurring enzymes. At around 100°F they are beginning to get a bit sluggish and by 118° F they are pretty much toast. Most raw foodists consider 116° to be the maximum threshold for enzyme potential.
Raw foods are loaded with enzymes and all of the vital nutrients our bodies need to flourish. Raw foods also have a high water content compared to cooked foods. The water found in fresh foods is in many ways superior to drinking water.
Raw foods abound with phytonutrients. These are the important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in plants that are known and still being discovered by science that are necessary for life to thrive. Eating raw means you are getting the highest concentration of phytonutrients emanating from the plant kingdom.
Many times you will hear the word live foods or living foods used to describe a raw food diet. Is there a difference?
For many, the words are used interchangeably. For those ‘in the know’, there is an important difference. Raw foods consist of foods in their natural, unheated state.
Live foods can even contain greater amounts of vital nutrients and enzyme activity created through soaking, sprouting, blending and culturing. Culturing allows us to create specialty dishes and drinks such as sauerkraut, plant cheeses, yogurts and kombucha.