It’s unclear who first said the words “you are what you eat,” but, whoever it was, they were really onto something. Whatever you eat ultimately becomes part of you, affecting your body at a cellular and even DNA level. If you provide your body with lots of healthy nutrients, you too will be healthy.
However, if you eat junk food or foods that are generally low in nutrients, or that contain harmful ingredients or additives, your wellbeing will invariably suffer.
Because of this, a considerable percentage of the world’s population is overweight and sick. This isn’t because of infectious disease; it’s because the food we are eating is killing us. Slowly but surely, all those processed foods, take outs, meats, and overcooked foods are hurting global health.
Here are a few examples of how poor food choices can make you unhealthy and how a raw food diet can help.
Too much sugar
Fruit and vegetables either contain sugar or are converted to sugar when you eat them. This is an entirely natural and healthy process. It’s very hard to consume too much sugar from natural sources. In addition, the sugar in fruit and vegetables is accompanied by vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which are crucial for and beneficial to your health.
In contrast, most processed foods contain refined sugar and lots of it. A can of soda contains about 40 grams of sugar, that’s eight teaspoons. A 100-gram bowl of honey-flavored breakfast cereal contains 32 grams of sugar or a little over six teaspoons.
Sugar, when stripped of fiber, is a fast-acting source of energy. It causes a rapid rise in blood glucose, followed by an equally rapid fall. This means your energy levels fluctuate wildly, and you’ll soon need another sugary snack to keep hunger at bay.
This makes sugar highly addictive, and it’s also fattening and inflammatory. That means it causes reddening, swelling, and pain throughout your body. It can also affect your mood, triggering anxiety, and stress.
How a raw food diet will help: Raw foods are unprocessed and contain no added sugar. The sugar they do contain is natural and accompanied by fiber and vital nutrients. Replacing high-sugar processed foods with raw foods will slash your sugar intake, removing one of the leading sources of illness from your diet.
Too many calories
A lot of the foods you can buy in your grocery store contain a massive number of calories. They are packed with sugar and fat and provide more calories than you can ever hope to use in one day. Just a single cookie contains about 100 calories. That’s enough energy to fuel your body for a one-mile run.
Unfortunately, these foods aren’t very filling, and that means they are very easy to overeat. If your body doesn’t need all those calories, it turns them into fat. Too much body fat is very unhealthy.
Being overweight can harm all aspects of your health, from your heart to your joints to increasing your risk of cancer. Being overweight can also shorten your lifespan, and can lower self-confidence while increasing stress, anxiety, and unhappiness.
How following a raw food diet can help you heal: Many raw foods are very low in calories. That means you can eat a lot of them, feel full, but still lose weight. Losing weight will have a significant impact on your health, your appearance, your energy levels, and even your mental health.
Too many additives
Take a look at the nutrition label on almost any processed food, and you’ll see a long list of unpronounceable chemicals. There are colors, flavors, stabilizers, sweeteners, acidity regulators, anticaking agents, and a host of other artificial substances.
According to the FDA, these substances are considered to be GRAS, which means generally regarded as safe. However, many of these additives are still linked to illnesses. For example, some artificial sweeteners are associated with things like hyperactivity, attention deficit, and even cancer.
Artificial ingredients and additives can trigger allergies, inflammation, and illness are best avoided if you care about your health. Many are only added to increase the shelf life of the food you buy. This means less wastage and more profit for food manufacturers. Your long-term health is not part of this decision.
How following a raw food diet can help you heal: Raw foods are unprocessed and free from additives. Buy organic produce to make sure you avoid virtually all chemical contamination. Eliminating unwanted additives from your diet can alleviate a host of health problems, including allergies and inflammation.
Too much trans fat
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been chemically modified to taste or behave a certain way. They are often used in commercially baked goods and are also the by-product of overheating (cooking with) vegetable oils. Trans fats are very unhealthy, which is why some food manufacturers make a point to advertise that their products are trans-fat-free.
However, if you eat processed food, or cook using things like sunflower oil, trans fats are all but unavoidable. When consumed in excess, trans fats can cause a lot of medical and health issues, including:
- Increased “bad” LDL cholesterol
- Decreased “good” HDL cholesterol
- Increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- Increased risk of cancer
How following a raw food diet can help you heal: Raw foods are naturally low in trans fats. Following the 80 10 10 diet will ensure your trans fat intake is virtually zero as only 10% of your calorie intake comes from fat. The fats you do eat come from very healthy sources.
Not enough fiber
Fiber is vital for intestinal health. It helps keep your digestive system moving, clearing out old, unhealthy bacteria. It also makes your bowel movements easier and more regular. Fiber is filling and calorie-free too.
Most processed foods contain very little fiber. Too little fiber can cause constipation, digestive system illnesses such as diverticular disease and colorectal cancer, and also contribute to weight gain. If you only eat processed and cooked foods, it’s tough to get the 30+ grams of fiber per day that most experts believe is necessary for better health.
How following a raw food diet can help you heal: Raw vegan foods like vegetables, fruits, and seeds are naturally high in fiber. In fact, if you follow a raw vegan diet, it’s very hard not to eat enough fiber. Eating more fiber is good for every aspect of your intestinal and digestive health.
How to start healing with a raw food diet
One of the best ways to experience the healing benefits of the raw food diet is with a raw food cleanse. According to the Raw Vegan Traveler, “a raw food cleanse is like a boot camp for your digestive system and your health”.
A raw food cleanse eliminates toxins from your diet. This includes food additives, caffeine, GMOs, processed sugar, salt, pesticides, and herbicides. With no toxins going in, your body will be able to rid itself of any that have built up in your internal organs, systems, tissues, and cells.
Removing these substances from your body and increasing your intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other vital substances such as plant enzymes, will boost your energy, restore your health, and help you lose weight too. Your body will have everything it needs to begin healing itself, and things like allergies, pain, insomnia, and anxiety will start to disappear. Raw food is powerful medicine.
A diet high in processed food is inherently unhealthy. Cooking some foods, even if they are natural, means they are no longer as healthy as they should be. If you are what you eat, it’s hardly surprising that so many people are overweight and sick. A raw food diet eliminates many of the causes of illness and provides your body with the nutrients it needs to heal. A raw food cleanse is one of the best ways to get the healing process started, and you’ll quickly notice the benefits of the raw food diet.