Raw? Alkaline? What about these movements in the field of nutrition?
These are both good trends that are exploding in the nutrition-savvy population. Raw vegan foods (fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, and sprouted “live” grains and seeds) are packed with enzymes that cooked food simply does not have.
Your body needs enzymes to live, and you have only about 35 years’ worth that can be manufactured by your body. After the body begins running out (because you spend your life eating “dead” food that does not supply its own enzymes), the body must pillage enzymes from the organs, and they burn out. While this is the most oversimplistic explanation possible, many modern diseases result from this epidemic of eating “dead” food and burning out the body’s enzyme capacity.
The answer is to eat 60% or more raw food (especially vegetables, especially greens) at each meal. In addition to a good probiotic, digestive enzymes (found at your health food store) are a supplement I think is helpful. Digestive enzymes are very helpful and necessary to take with any meal that isn’t mostly raw.
On several occasions, I have eaten 100% raw for months at a time and never felt better than I did then. But even as committed as I am to feeding my family good nutrition, that’s more work than I’m willing to do on a daily basis. And here on this site, I seek to educate those who may be starting from the position of eating a typical Western diet: for you, 100% raw may be overwhelming.
I am not at all convinced that ALL raw is necessary or even good. It bumps out the entire class of foods known as legumes, which are some of our most disease preventative foods, which massively increase dietary fiber and keep you full. And there’s increasing evidence that, long term, some kind of deficiency in an all-raw vegan diet causes dental problems. (I used to have lots of cavities when I was young. Now I have none despite being “high raw” or 60-80% raw. Thus, the problem isn’t that raw food is deficient or bad, but rather than ALL raw is not necessary and perhaps something is missing.)
I agree with the alkaline-foods movement that more alkaline foods is a trend in the right direction! We should eat abundantly of greens, avocados, black beans, coconut oil, and other alkaline foods that cause a shift away from destructive acidosis that burns out our blood and tissues. See Alkaline Foods for a list of alkaline foods (as well as acidic foods to stay away from, the worst being animal flesh, coffee, soda, and refined sugar).
If I got cancer, I would immediately commit, temporarily, to an all-raw, all-alkaline diet. And I believe from reading many sources—and knowing quite a few friends (including my grandmother) who eliminated cancer without chemo, radiation, or surgery—that cancer cannot live in the presence of oxygen. One of those friends is Shelley Abegg, who tells her story and shares her raw gourmet recipes at www.rawfoodart.com.
When you eat raw plant foods, especially when you heavily emphasize alkaline and living foods (soaked grains, nuts, and seeds are “sprouted” and therefore alive), you fully oxygenate the blood and tissues, making your body a clean, inhospitable place for cancer to thrive. Chemotherapy and radiation, on the other hand, create massive free-radical damage and acidity and cause the host to be a more likely site for future cancer.
However, many fruits, grains, and legumes, while being highly nutritious, are slightly to moderately acidic. And they are very nutritious. Over time, I think the best approach is to eat 95% plants, more than half of them raw. When we do that, preventatively as a lifestyle, generally we don’t have to worry about alkaline or percentages.
My recipes emphasize raw food and alkaline ingredients, and I believe anyone can commit to the excellent but do-able standard of every meal being 60% raw.