Back to basics: Are you ready for a raw challenge?
In today’s culinary world, technology has given us countless ways to cook our food – steam, fry, bake, sauté, roast, barbecue, slow cook, poach, boil, blanche…the list goes on.
But have you ever considered putting it all aside and going back to a more pure way of eating? That’s what the raw food movement is all about.
The fundamental idea of the raw food diet is to eat 75% uncooked food. The thinking is that the cooking process destroys enzymes that help us with our digestion. Dried food is allowed as the drying process doesn’t reach a temperature high enough to kill off enzymes.
The raw food movement is not new. Some trace it back to the beginnings of vegetarianism and veganism. Others say it started around 1936, when the American dentist Weston A. Price blamed cooked food for many dental problems. Ten years later, a Chicago medical doctor, Edward Howell, wrote a book called The Status of Food Enzymes in Digestion and Metabolism. Howell claimed that cooking strips fruit and vegetables of their vital nutrients, and therefore less healthy than raw food.
Since Dr Howell’s revolutionary book, we have been able to refine what we know about raw food and our bodies. Most raw foods are very high in vitamins and minerals, giving you an excellent balance of the nutrients you need. Also you are left feeling less sluggish than when you eat a big meal of meat and potatoes, because your body is quite easily able to digest them. Fruit and vegetables are also good for a healthy bowel and this high-fibre diet means constipation is a thing of the past. Many raw foodies also claim that they have clearer skin and stronger hair and nails.
As with any diet, it’s important your body is still getting the right amount and types of nutrients. So you need to plan your daily menu to ensure it contains everything your body needs. For example, nuts and seeds are a great way to get the protein that you won’t get from meat. You should also add lots of variety to your diet with different fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Your Private Chef can offer a weekly raw and gourmet food delivery service.