'Why eat raw food' by Polly Noble
13 April 2011
The first in a series of new guest articles we asked raw food coach Polly Noble to tell us a bit about raw food, why it compliments juicing and why it's so good for us.
"Now you may well be big into juicing, but if you’re new to the concept of eating raw food and think it sounds strange then think again. In fact, if you have ever eaten guacamole, gazpacho or made a green smoothie then consider yourself a raw food beginner!
The term “raw food” is given to foods that have not been heated over 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46°C) and that importantly means it's preserved the nutrient content. As we already know fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals but did you know that LIVE raw foods, if eaten regularly enough, literally makes you feel alive?
Bursting with enzymes
Raw foods such as leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, sea vegetables, juices and smoothies are loaded with enzymes. Enzymes are required for nearly every bodily function from digestion - to detoxing - to hair growth - to healing. If you plan on riding the Healthy Highway, then you’re going to need enzymes in the passenger seat!
Unfortunately, as we get older, our body’s natural production of enzymes becomes less efficient and relies on us to replenish the enzyme reserve through the raw food we eat, giving our body a helping hand.
Aside from keeping our body ticking over, enzymes also help our body with digestion. This might not seem like a particularly enticing benefit of eating more raw food but what if I told you that by consuming more enzyme-rich raw food, you give your body a well-deserved rest from the energy-zapping job of breaking down food, in effect giving you more energy. Oh and did I mention that enzymes also help to fight those pesky free radicals that cause ageing? Double bonus!
Green plants oxygenate the body
Without oxygen our cells would die pretty fast which is why it is so important to dine on chlorophyll-rich green leafy vegetables. Chlorophyll is the substance in plants which allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. While enzymes are ensuring all the bodily functions are working properly, chlorophyll is delivering a stack of nutrients and oxygen, building red blood cells, detoxifying the body, boosting the immune system, alkalising blood pH, improving circulation and like enzymes, kicking some free radical butt!
So by consuming raw dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and swiss chard and drink grasses like wheatgrass as well as other nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables, we give our body the best conditions to create optimum health.
The Raw Food Rule
The concept of incorporating more raw foods into your diet is not really hard work at all. The big key is the 51% rule. By ensuring that each meal consists of at least 51% raw food, you instantly reduce the strain on your body’s energy and replenish that all-important enzyme reserve. There are a growing number of raw food chefs out there who make plenty of delicious recipes for you to try. They're simple to make as there's no cooking involved and they just taste amazing!
Raw and juicy!
Juicing is the perfect accompaniment to a raw lifestyle. It gives us easy access to those much-needed enzymes while removing the prospect of having to chow down on a tonne of spinach and broccolli. Plus, the nutrients contained in fresh juices are utilized by the body far more quickly than those the body obtains from solid food.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and I’m a huge fan of smoothies but juices (in particular healing green ones) are my first love. Smoothies are like a strong sturdy four-wheel drive that promises to deliver the goods once it has navigated the intestinal mountains and molehills, whereas a juice is like a Ferrari – getting the nutrients to our sexy cells in super-fast time.
If there’s just one small change that can make the big difference, it’s getting a bit of raw food and juice into your life, and your body will thank you!"
Polly also gave us a little recipe for a great raw dip to dunk your veg in when you're hungry at work.
Polly's Mint and Avocado dip: (picture below)
You will need:
2 stalks celery
1 spring onion-white only
1 tbl hemp oil or olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt (it's a million times better than regular salt)
2 tbl lime juice
2 tbls fresh mint, chopped
Instructions: Place all ingredients except the spring onion into a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure all of the mixture fully combines. Finally add in the spring onion and pulse gently to incorporate, leaving some chunks of onion for texture.
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