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RAW FOOD DIET: Yay or Nay?

Raw Foodies are in right now…what’s the deal? Well, there are pros and cons of a raw food diet.

Side Note: All the food must be organic to reduce pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, and antibiotic residue.

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Pros:
1. Nutrient Dense: Yes, raw food is in it’s purest form and offers the most nutrients, especially when eaten quickly after being picked. The longer is sits in the store or on the shelf, the more nutrients are depleted. Eating food as close to the source as possible is key.

2. Raises Your Vibration: Raw food is alive and pure, which offers a high energetic vibration. When you eat the food, your vibration increases as well. This is a good thing! Our souls, spirits and personality LOVE a higher, better functioning vibration. This lifts our moods and balances our energy.

3. Deepens Your Connection to the Earth: Mother Earth supplied us with all that we need to survive! When we eat straight from the source, we are most in-tune, more connected, more appreciative of what our Mother provides. This creates more harmony, more gratitude, more vitality and better overall health.

4. Detox: Raw Foods, especially the green ones, are very alkalinizing and detoxifying. But lightly steamed and cooked foods are detoxifying as well…

Cons:
1. Thyroid Disruptors: many raw foods can inhibit iodine uptake, which disrupts the thyroid. Those with Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease and hypothyroid should be especially careful with raw foods, such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. Even those with a healthy thyroid should limit the amount of these raw foods. Moderation people! Just because something is good (kale) doesn’t mean it’s a miracle and we should overdo it. The saying is true: Too much of anything is NOT a good thing.

2. High oxalate content: many raw veggies, such as spinach, are high in oxalates, which bind to calcium and other minerals inhibiting their absorption.

3. Digestive Issues: Those who suffer from ANY digestive issues (which unfortunately is the majority of folks) should not consume large amounts of raw veggies. They contain cellulose, which is really hard to break down. Those who get gas and bloating from cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc. should not consume them in their raw form. Lightly steamed or baked is best. Those with robust digestion can most likely tolerate these veggies raw. That doesn’t mean NO raw veggies! There are other raw veggies that are easier to digest, such as romaine, cucumber, carrot, tomato. Amount is also important. If a person with compromised digestion eats 1/2 cup of raw spinach, then they will most likely not show any signs of discomfort. However, if that same person eats 2 cups of raw veggies, it may light their digestive up like a Christmas tree! It’s best to experiment and see what your tolerance is. Babies and aging folks have a particularly hard time breaking down raw veggies without gas and bloating, so be aware!

4. Lack of Fat: When you juice or eat raw veggies, we often forget to add healthy fats (olives, olive oil, ghee, organic butter, coconut oil, avocado), which is what helps the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) to be absorbed. If we are juicing carrots and kale, we aren’t going to absorb the vitamin A and K unless we add healthy fats.

The verdict: experiment and check your individual tolerance. Always eat with healthy fats. Try to keep your plate diverse for nutrient diversity. Rotate veggies so you aren’t eating kale or broccoli every day. Moderate cruciferous veggies (broc, kale, cabbage, cauli, etc.). Steam and bake most food if digestion is weak. Listen to your body and trust yourself.

Resources:
http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/low-oxalate-diet.aspx

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