Our bodies contain millions of cells, all of which are constantly regenerating. They say that we actually have a completely new body every seven years. The body is actually divinely created to heal itself and maintain perfect health. Given that new cells are constantly being generated and cellular growth and repair is continuous, the question becomes “What are we putting into our bodies to support that growth?” The problem is that we are not allowing our bodies to heal and we are killing ourselves mostly by what we put into our bodies.
The sad fact is that the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of mostly dead foods that actually have little value and actually promote obesity and disease. The rate of obesity in America is reaching epidemic proportions and it is estimated that by 2010, over 40 million people in America will have Type II Diabetes. In addition, the number of people who die from heart disease and cancer is a staggering proportion of all deaths.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of processed food and large quantities of high-fat meats, dairy products, sugar, salt and caffeine. Each one of these food types brings about different problems. Almost all processed foods have been heated in order to be packaged and preserved. After food is heated beyond about 107 °F, the live enzymes are killed and the nutritional content suffers. Almost all processed foods need to have added vitamins and minerals to “enrich” them because on their own, there is really very little nutritional value left. The added preservatives are chemical additives and the added vitamins and minerals are typically not in natural soluble form like you would find in fresh, raw food.
The high-fat, high meat diet brings a whole host of problems including high cholesterol, arterial and coronary diseases. Diets that are high in animal products will cause the body to become more acidic due to the way that they are metabolized. It has been shown that various cancers will grow more readily in an acidic environment. The natural pH of the body should actually be around 7.4, but the pH of the body can decrease and become more acidic with a high meat/animal product diet. Eating a lot of meat and animal products also can cause other problems such as constipation, heartburn and reflux.
Dairy products also cause similar problems as animal products. In addition, it turns out that the human body actually absorbs very little of the calcium in cow’s milk. In effect, the body will leach the calcium it needs from its own bones, thereby causing or exacerbating osteoporosis. This happens because the body tries to neutralize the acids caused by digesting the animal products and utilizes its own bone calcium to do so.
Bleached white flour turns to paste when added with water. Imagine what it does inside your body? It is much better to eat the entire whole grain flours, and even then, in moderation. Our diet is loaded with bleached white flour.
The average American eats something like 300 pounds of sugar each year. Sugar turns to acid when digested and also disrupts insulin production in the body. The main culprit is the number of soft drinks consumed every year by the average American, which also contain high levels of sodium, which leads to high blood pressure. In fact, sugar and sodium is in practically everything we eat. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The good news is that the ill effects of the Standard American Diet (SAD) are almost entirely reversible! The way to do it is to adopt a raw foods lifestyle.
Eating raw foods means eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Organically-grown fruits and vegetables contain everything our bodies need to survive and thrive. Raw foods are living foods – the live enzymes are still intact and the vitamins and minerals are in their natural state. All the animals of this planet exist just fine on raw foods (even the carnivores eat raw meat). Humans are the only species that cooks their food. The more research I have done, the more I am convinced that a raw foods diet is the only choice for me.
Converting to a raw foods diet is easy and can bring about the following health benefits:
Increased energy and vitality
Decreased or eliminated sickness and illness
Reduction or elimination of acid reflux and heartburn
Increased regularity and decreased constipation and related problems such as hemorrhoids
Reduction or elimination of bad breath and body odor
Correction in body pH
Decreased blood pressure
Reversal of Type II Diabetes
Another aspect of a raw foods diet involves juicing. It helps to drink raw juice from fruits and vegetables. When you think about the chewing process, our teeth mash up the food in order to release the juices. The juice contains all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The remaining pulp and fiber is basically passed through the body. By extracting the juice from the raw foods, several benefits occur. First, when you drink the concentrated raw juice, it can be absorbed immediately by the body. If you were to eat the whole fruit or vegetable instead, some of the energy is required for digestion. Thus, it is more efficient for the body to just drink the juice.
Second, it takes a lot of food to produce a good quantity of juice. For example, it takes about 5-8 large carrots to create 8 ounces of raw carrot juice. I drink about 24 ounces of raw carrot juice every day. It would be hard to eat 24 carrots every day! I have found that drinking 24 ounces of fresh vegetable juice every day has enabled me to feel very energetic and healthy. I have been able to eliminate caffeine and coffee from my diet and I have not had a cold or flu since I began juicing a few years ago.
I hope I have provided some good food for thought (no pun intended!) regarding the benefits of raw food and juicing. You probably have a lot of questions about creating a raw foods diet. I know I did! There are a number of good books, articles and websites related to raw foods (I have a number of links available on my website). I encourage you to continue your research. Even if you simply cut back on some of your current habits and consistently introduce more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will probably notice a big benefit in the way you feel. I wish you all the best in your quest for optimum health.