The Human Element
It is interesting to note that it is only very recently (relatively speaking) that we have begun to eat cooked or heated foods, although human beings are believed to have evolved over millions of years.
Also worth noting is that studies of other mammals, in their natural habitats, show that they have not suffered, to any significant degree, from the many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke, that now plague the the human population.
One decisive factor, arguably, is diet. It is thought that the nutritional significance of living and raw foods lies in accessing simple, natural and ideally organic foods crammed with active digestive enzymes and amino acids.
The cooking of foods, through the application of heat, leads to the denaturing of the food, which means that cooked foods cannot usually supply the required nutrients of a good diet. For example, cooking food destroys about half of the protein content, around 60% of vitamins and renders about 60% of the minerals non-absorbable.
Cooking food also depletes the intrinsic enzymes, making it much harder to digest, and therefore the body has to call on its own limited supply. The digestive enzymes contributed by the body cannot always match those originally present in the foods, which means that their digestion is often incomplete. This could possibly lead to potential problems, such as digestive tract blockages and atherosclerosis.
Together, living and raw foods are said to make up a cornerstone of many therapeutic and naturopathic regimes. This is because proponents of living food protocols claim that living foods are truly “whole foods”, in the sense that their life-force remains intact and they are therefore enzyme-rich and nutrient dense.
The best living foods are, arguably, grown on organic farms, where the full complement of nutrients in the soil are preserved and there are no toxic chemicals to negate their potential benefits.
It has been suggested that living foods place a lesser burden on the digestive system than other food types, without continually depleting our own bodily stores of digestive enzymes. Thus, living foods enthusiasts, particularly those with medical conditions, claim that one of their key reasons for choosing such foods is the body’s ability to incorporate them into a weakened system, with minimal reliance on digestive energies.
Lack of Time
In an ideal world, you would be able to get all the vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients needed by your body on a daily basis from living and raw foods grown yourself under organic conditions. Unfortunately, in the modern world, this is rarely a realistic possibility for most people.
Is There an Alternative?
Supplementing your varied and balanced diet with high quality, nutrient-dense, organic food form supplements can provide your body with the additional support it might need.
So, whether you are simply looking for an additional and convenient source of nutrients, or have a specific health goal in mind (such as following a living foods protocol), food supplements can be of help. They offer a great means of accessing concentrated levels of fruit and vegetable nutrients, without having to buy them in huge quantities in whole food form (saving you time and money).