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Raw food for beginners

Your Health Your Wealth

Bena Nakawuki

Sunday, June 01, 2014    

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This is the first in a two-part piece exploring the vast, juicy topic of raw and living foods.

RAW and living foods, although growing in popularity, are not new styles of eating. In fact, the consumption of raw and living foods has been around for centuries and is more innate to us as humans than we believe. Before we discovered fire, we were eating, right? No doubt - we were eating, enjoying and surviving off food that was not 'cooked'.

WHAT IS RAW FOOD?

Put simply, raw food is food that has not been heat-treated or cooked, typically above 112 degrees Fahrenheit or approximately 48 degrees Celsius. The concept of raw food is that it's food that is still alive - the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, oxygen, living water, and phyto-nutrients are still alive.

In some cases, if you were to plant many of these foods they would grow or reproduce, hence the term 'living foods'.

AS SOMEONE WHO EATS MOSTLY RAW AND LIVING FOODS, I OFTEN GET ASKED: "WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU EAT?"

I love food, a lot - though most people don't believe me judging by my size. However, I love 'real' food. By real I am referring to food that is whole, natural, unprocessed, and without chemical additives. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, dried fruits, sprouted beans/whole grains/legumes/peas, sea vegetables, superfoods, and good fats and oils, such as ackee, coconut oil and avocado pear.

From this I am able to enjoy a variety of dishes and beverages which include nut milks, non-dairy ice creams, tropical juices, salads, nut cheeses, pizzas, wraps, raw vegan sushi, stews, and more.

By using simple preparation methods such as blending, food processing, marinating, freezing, dehydrating, or fermenting, you can convert traditional favourite recipes such as pizzas, brownies, pasta, and soups, into delicious, nutritious treats made from all-natural raw ingredients. And you don't have to toil for hours in the kitchen in order to do so.

Gone are the days of boring fruit plates and shredded carrot and cabbage salads. Many of my personal favourites - such as my super smoothies, stews, veggie wraps, and cheesecake - call for common ingredients and basic kitchen equipment. Also, this is a great way for us to get at least the minimum requirement of our five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Scientific research is constantly discovering the profound results related to the impact of raw foods on our health, especially in the areas of common lifestyle disease prevention, weight management and healing.

Many people turn to raw food for different reasons. I simply love the way it makes me feel more energised. Hopefully, these benefits will inspire you to bring some more 'life' to your plate, and in turn more vitality and health to your life.

BENEFITS OF RAW FOOD

* Increases energy

* Helps to achieve a healthy and natural weight

* Reduced chances of disease

* Reverses disease

* Strengthens the immune system

* Improves hormonal and reproductive health

* Detoxifies the body naturally

* Improves colon health

* Clears sinus issues

* Improves skin

* Balances the body's temperature, regardless of external conditions

* Aids better sleep

* Rejuvenates/reverses signs of ageing

* Enjoys the beautiful vibrant colours of food in its natural state

* Explores a new world of natural taste and flavours

* Conserves enzymes

* Supports farmers

* Saves time in the kitchen

* Lowers gas and electric fuel bills

* Lowers one's carbon footprint

* Saves money in doctors' and medical bills

So, how much life is in your food? For tasty and nutritious raw and living food tips, recipes, classes, and more visit my Facebook page: The Lotus Line of Natural Health Products and Services.

Bena Nakawuki is an internationally trained and certified raw food teacher, wellness coach and editor. She is currently the only certified member of the International Association of Raw Food Coaches and Teachers in Jamaica. She is the owner of The Lotus Line and may be contacted at TheLotusLine@gmail.com, www.facebook.com - The Lotus Line of Natural Health Products and Services, and twitter.com/TheLotusLine.

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