Raw & Fresh Foods[1]

Why is it that a diet of 75% raw food makes one look and feel great, gives high energy levels, and protects from and heals many diseases?  Scientists involved in raw food research and in the treatment of illness using raw food diets believe that a great many people living in the industrialised world are living in a state of 'meso-health', a state of mediocre health induced by years of eating devitalised and processed foods. They say that by increasing the quantity of fresh raw food we eat, ideally organically produced, and by cutting out many of the cooked, processed, high-protein and high-fat foods, it would be possible to improve the health of people already suffering from degenerative illness, and also the health of those in whom the subtle processes of degeneration are not yet obvious. 

One thing is for sure; whilst we are living on the average longer, due to reduction in infant mortality, improved public hygiene and sanitation mainly, we are not getting healthier. Illnesses such as cancer,  heart disease, hypertension, circulatory ailments, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, hypoglycaemia, inflammatory diseases and mental and psychiatric disorders such as senility and dementia,  we are rapidly acquiring as part of our 21st  century lifestyle, a life of physiological stress, overeating, under-exercising and environmental pollution.

The prospect, for me, of living to a 'ripe old age', and burdened down with any of the diseases named above, is quite frankly, terrifying.  It is a lie that old age automatically confers disease.  In fact, old age may well be a function of illness (& not the other way round).  There are handfuls of populations like the Hunzas who do not get sick, and they live till they’re 130 – 160 years of age. For me, it is time to stop treating myself with the "Volkswagon attitude" (ie we can run ourselves as long and hard as we like and then expect the doctor to pick up the pieces or supply us with new parts when we break down).  Besides, there will not be such a large health budget in 50, 40 or even 10 years from now; and what will be there will have to go a lot further, since the population is an ageing one.  Besides that, who really wants to go down the medical route anyway?  It is time to take some personal responsibility for our own health, now, before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, the development of "modern medicine" and our reliance on it, has led us away from the great healing traditions being developed in Europe in the early part of last century, where the emphasis was on correcting lifestyle habits, and returning to a diet high in uncooked foods, which will allow the body to heal itself.  Doctors themselves reflect the trend towards illness; statistically, doctors suffer as much, if not more so, from the illness epidemic in today's society.  They haven't got the answers as to how one can be cured, or how one can live without getting ill.  Chemical drugs in our bodies only further exacerbate the problem of lowered immunity; treating symptoms alone is much like putting a bandaid over the flashing red light on your dash which tells you that the car needs more oil.

The human body makes between 50,000 and 100,000 different chemicals, involving neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes and many other mediators of health, from different vitamins and co-factors, minerals, amino acids, enzymes.  There are over 1,000 different enzymes working in our liver alone. These all interact with each other in ways so complex they make the world's most advanced computer look like an abacus. Far from being isolated in their workings, these nutrients are synergistic, ie they each need each other; and by working together can they enact the complicated routines that make our bodies function.  They are "rich in structural information for health". Cooking and other forms of processing interfere with this complexity, and destroy much of the structural information.

"The multiple interaction of these essential substances is the basis of their biological function.  And the adequacy of that function depends on the substances being supplied to the body in the same mixtures and concentrations that occur in raw, unprocessed foods.  It was by way of these foods that genesis, over millions of years of evolution, developed the precise mechanism to deal with them"[2].  It should not be surprising then, that although our bodies can adapt somewhat (and there is always a price to pay), a diet which deviates too far from what our bodies have been genetically programmed to expect leads to progressive under-nutrition;  first there is deprivation at the cellular level, then gradual failure of the body's immune system, then illness.  Much like tipping kerosine into an engine designed to run on diesel.

The immune system is the number one suspect in degenerative disease and in premature ageing.  Simplistically, the specialised immune system comprises two inter-dependent parts: the thymus which regulates cellular immunity, and the B-cells which protect from viral and bacterial infection.  The nutrients which occur in optimal proportions and quantities in fresh, uncooked vegetables and fruits, boost both aspects of the immune system.

Cooking and processing food destroys the synergy.  Vitamins are destroyed, proteins are denatured, fats and oils are altered at the molecular level, all too often forming free radical agents (oxidants that damage cell structure, and are carcinogenic), important fibre is altered or destroyed, as are many hormones, enzymes and other plant factors essential to health, such as essential oils, gibberellins, pigments and flavonoids.  Not only are individual nutrients lost, but the synergy they create is also lost[3]. No amount of supplementation such as "fortified foods" can replace this living matrix.

No wonder then, that the healing and health-promoting properties of uncooked foods have been demonstrated innumerable times in the biological clinics of Europe, where still today, uncooked diets coupled with other natural methods of healing such as hydrotherapy, are used to treat and cure all kinds of illness - cancer, leukemia, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, heart and circulatory disease, hormone disturbances, migraine, colds, obesity, inflammatory diseases, anemia and a hundred other common ailments.[4]

[1] Reference to uncooked foods ideally should mean foods grown organically, or bio-dynamically. Most, if not all other fruit and vegies have been treated with chemicals, either as fertiliser, fungicide &/or pesticide, and a whole host of other chemical washes, dips, preserving agents, colouring agents etc.

[2] Michael Colgan Your Personal Vitamin Profile

[3] We are still discovering many of these substances in plants, and not a lot biochemically is yet known about them, let alone the effect that the smell and colour of the different fruit,  vegies, herbs and flowers have on our physical, emotional and indeed spiritual wellbeing; suffice to note here that any processing, including cooking, compromises their potential for health within our bodies.

[4] To read more on this topic, buy Raw Energy by Leslie and Susannah Kenton

  2010 - 2015 © Adrian Jones Naturopath   Global Star Services