Many books have been written on the healing properties of raw food diets.  You also do not have to search very long for videos on people singing the praises of raw food.  Watching these videos might instantly convert you to a raw foodie.   Perhaps only until the first winter evening that you sit down to an ice cold meal, yearning for something to warm you up, even if it is a hot, junk food meal.  This newsletter, true to our mission, is to try and bring some perspective on the big picture of healthy eating.  This topic consists of many single truths, of which none of them gives us the whole picture. 

There is very little to nothing to argue against any of the points made in the two videos.  Raw, vegan diets are alkaline (very unfriendly to cancer cells) and not too many of the enzymes within the plant material, meant to assist digestion and nutrition, are destroyed.  The nutrients in the plant material assist the body to get rid of the toxins by digging it out from the places they hide and then helping the liver to deactivate it before it is excreted or destroyed.  For anyone who wants to detox, this would be a diet to consider. 

So without digging out more evidence for the raw diet, let’s look at the alternative – cooked foods.  Everyone knows that grains and meat should be cooked if you would want those foods in your diet - both of them having essential nutrients for our bodies.  Another food item which is very much overlooked these days is bone broths.  This is produced when bones are cooked for hours at a low temperature and the broth is used in soups and stews or straight up.  This wonder food is chock full of good nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium (for healthy bones and cardiac health), gelatin (for healthy joints, hair and nails) and the bone marrow which boosts the immune system (grandma’s famous chicken soup).  Bone broth is also good for gut health which optimizes nutrient uptake and toxin elimination – the basics of optimum health.

Actually, cooking of food is not only the alternative to raw foods, but also to fast foods as we know it today.  To combat the fast food industry, the Slow Cook Movement was started in Italy to promote the slow cooking of foods such as meat dishes and casseroles.  While cooking these foods together at a low temperature, the enzymes of the various foods work together to make food more digestible. As well, as we see so often, a variety of good food enhances the good properties of each one of them.

And while I do not want to take away any of the healing properties of the raw diet, I want to mention another diet which claims to have healed many people with autoimmune diseases, which is the macrobiotic diet.  When eating according to these rules you have to cook everything you eat - even fruit.  The reason for this is that some of the colorful bioflavonoids in plants are more available in a lightly cooked form.  Examples are lycopene in tomatoes that protects against prostate cancer, lutein and zeaxanthin in steamed greens that protect against macular degeneration and beta-carotene in carrots which is an anti-oxidant and precursor to vitamin A. 

My take home message today would be to prepare food according to the season.  If it is cold, have a cooked (but never overcooked or fried) meal; if it is warm indulge in the coolness of salads and fresh fruit and vegetable juices.  As long as the produce is naturally and preferably organically grown without harmful pesticides and fertilizers, your body will find lots of benefit from it. 

Eat healthy and stay healthy and use your preparation of food to find comfort in the season you live in! 

Thea and ChrisMarie from Ukudla4LIFE
Registered Holistic Nutritionists