Raw food is not only considered good for you but it is a science in itself. Raw and live foods are largely uncooked fruits vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains. When eaten in their natural state these foods keep us vibrant, energetic and healthy.

There are several ways in which raw foods improve health and balance but the most important indicators are enzymes and acid alkaline balance. When food is cooked as we do in most homes, we destroy its enzymes. As we age our bodies natural source of enzymes depletes and we need to replenish this through the food we eat. We are born with a limited amount of enzyme energy. If we do not include a certain percent of raw foods into our diets we eventually begin to dip into the body’s enzyme reserves.

Cooking makes it difficult for our bodies to break up and digest the foods we eat; this food then gets stored in the body and builds up as toxins which eventually turn up as illness and health disorders, lowered energy levels and immunity and poor brain function. We also become more susceptible to aging, diseases and our longevity reduces.

The important thing is to be mindful of how you eat. For this to happen we need to make conscious choices about what we put into our bodies. The building blocks of body function are enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, essential fats and protein. These must be balanced in the food we eat to help the body grow, repair and maintain itself.

We are so used to eating the way we do that it may seem difficult initially to incorporate more of raw foods into your diets right away. But you can start as small as 10 percent in the first week and take it up to 70 percent in ensuing weeks and gradually bring your food ratio to 50 percent cooked food and 50 percent raw foods. To incorporate raw foods into your diet, start by knowing what raw foods you actually like. Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables are always a good choice as a salad or juice.

It will begin to make sense when you feel the energy free up in your body, increased mental focus, and when you feel lighter with all the body aches and pains slowly disappearing. Research also indicates that people who eat more raw foods (about 70 to 80 percent raw) get their complete nutrition with less food which means that you are able to maintain your ideal body weight.

Cooking destroys vital and essential nutrients that are required to stay healthy. Your body needs to thrive and not just survive, so harness into the power of raw foods and experience health and wellbeing.

Note: Any food cooked above 106 degrees Fahrenheit is considered cooked. Anything below this temperature – to certain level – is considered raw. Completely raw food is food that has not had heat added at all. 106 degrees is the temperature at which enzymes that are in the food get killed off.

Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.

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