By Jade Small
In todayâ€™s hectic working life most people donâ€™t have the time or patience to source quality organic nutrient rich super foods. The food offered from vendors is usually pre-made, low quality, genetically modified, nutrient stripped rubbish. When youâ€™re on a tight deadline, or rushing around with children in tow or even just casually shopping, there are little to no places where you can get the daily nutrition our bodies require.
Raw vegetables and fruit offer valuable enzymes and essential vitamins and minerals. The benefits are far reaching and have the potential to cure many health issues including;
1. Weight Loss
Those that eat a vegetarian diet have a lower body weight than those who eat meat, according to MayoClinic.com. Fruits and vegetables contain no cholesterol, are naturally high in fibre and low in calories, which often results in weight loss for those who transition to a raw plant-based diet. Proponents of this diet do not add high-calorie fats, such as butter or cheese, to their vegetables, nor sugar to their fruit, which also keeps the caloric content low and aids in weight loss.
Raw food allows you to absorb all of the enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals contained naturally. Fruit and vegetables are loaded with healthful potassium, Folate and vitamins C and A, which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, protect from infection, heal wounds and promote oral health.
Lenka Zajicâ€™s â€œThe Raw Food Diet Study,â€ published in the August 2006 issue of The Iowa Source magazine, found a dramatic increase in energy levels for participants who transitioned to a raw fruit and vegetable diet. Increases were also noted in respondentsâ€™ cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular strength.
The American Heart Association states, â€œVegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer. Also those consuming raw food need less sleep and have improved sleep quality as well as healthier skin, hair and nails. Eating raw food also gives a significantly higher immunity against colds, flu and infections and they do not suffer post-meal symptoms of bloating and indigestion.
So thatâ€™s a small overview of the benefits of consuming raw fruit/veg. A quick easy way of getting all the above benefits is making delicious and easy to make smoothies. Spirulina, Maca powder and Tumeric can give your smoothies a real boost to your nutrient/enzyme intake. They taste great are cost effective and importantly take no time at all to prepare.
Spirulina powder is a natural algae powder which is highly rich in nutrients and protein. This powder largely comprises of essential amino acids, iron and protein. It is also famed for being rich in B-12 content. Organic spirulina is used for making a variety of healthy supplements.
The benefits include;
- Strengthens the immune system. It can destroy a wide range of viruses and bacteria, such as herpes simplex, rubella, measles and cytomegalovirus.
- Protects against hay fever and reduces inflammation triggered by arthritis.
- Helps reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, improving cardiovascular health because it is a rare source of linoleic acid (which is present in breast milk).
- Helps alleviate problems caused by type 2 diabetes, lowering blood sugar levels.
- Has an antioxidant effect, decreasing muscle breakdown and fatigue after exercise.
Macaâ€™s reputation as a powerful strength and stamina enhancer as well as libido-enhancing food-herb stretches back into prehistory. Maca, like goji berries and ginseng is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the bodyâ€™s systems (cardiovascular system, nervous system, musculature, lymphatic system, etc.). As an adaptogen, maca can provide more energy if it is needed, but if it is not, it will not over stimulate. Adaptogens also boost immunity and increase the bodyâ€™s overall vitality by 10-15% according to most studies. Rather than addressing a specific symptom, adaptogens are used to improve the overall adaptability of the whole body to diverse and challenging situations and stress.
The benefits include;
- increased energy and stamina (particularly in athletic performance)
- promotes mental clarity
- Treats sexual dysfunction* Itâ€™s actually sometimes referred to as natural Viagra!
- fertility enhancement
- also increased energy and stamina
- balancing hormones
- menopause symptom relief (natural hormone replacement therapy)
- treating mood swings related to PMS
- increased sexual drive
Popularly used in Indian cuisine, organic turmeric root powder has been shown to have a broad number of health benÂeÂfits. Spirulina is also a strong anÂtioxÂiÂdant. Itâ€™s well known for its powerful anti-inÂflamÂmaÂtory properties. It supports a healthy digestive system, brain function, cardiovascular/circulatory systems and joint health. It is one of natures most powerful healers. The active ingredient in it is curÂcumin. It has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. The medicinal proprieties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries.
Some benefits of organic turmeric root powder may include:
- Boosting the immune system
- Helping neutralize substanceâ€™s that can cause cellular stress
- Natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor, Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia
- Supporting healthy bones, joints, and overall skeletal system
- Possibly inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels in tumors
- Helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels
- Helpful for Alzheimerâ€™s, encouraging healthy liver function
- Strong anti-inÂflamÂmaÂtory properties, killing parasites
- Boosting the effects of chemo drug paÂcliÂtaxel and reduces its side effects
- Supporting your memory function, boosting your immune system
- Natural antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts & burns
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management
- Promoting your heart health, supporting healthy joint function
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple melanoma
- Promotes a healthy female reproductive system
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide
- Supports your overall eye health
- Promotes a healthy prostrate
- Providing the antioxidants you need to help support your cells
- Helping to remove amyloidal plaque build-up in the brain
- Helping maintain blood sugar levels
- Natural remedy for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
These nutrient rich super foods can easily be added to any smoothie to get your nutrient fix or combined to make an elixir of life
3 Easy Smoothie Recipes
Spirulina Green Heaven:
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1/4 cup orange juices
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 tbsp Spirulina powder
Tumeric the Yellow Goddess:
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup fresh grapes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten
Maca Power Smoothie
- 1 Â½ cups almond milk or coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Ice as needed
A study on raw food diet followers conducted over a period of 2 years by Lenka J. Zajic (who holds a Masters in Vegan and Live Food Nutrition from the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona) showed some interesting results in women especially. Zajicâ€™s study shows a marked improvement in womenâ€™s menstrual cycles as well as a drop in overall stress levels and a decrease in the amount of sleep needed to feel well rested. Zajic claims that â€œThere seems to be no question that, at least initially, eating a raw foods diet can reduce or cure many health complaints.â€
To conclude recent mainstream scientific studies have shown that following a raw foods diet can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases while aiding with maintaining a healthy weight, BMI, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and strong healthy bones.