“Live” food or raw food means food that has not been cooked, but also not chemically processed, consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Raw foodists (adherents of raw food) base their preference on scientific findings, which show that cooking above 42 °C and intrusive industrial processing destroy the nutritional values of foods and change their molecular structure. These foods then become less beneficial for the body and often even health damaging, if not outright toxic and carcinogenic.
A prime example of the difference between live and cooked food is a sunflower seed soaked in water, or a grain of wheat planted in the ground. Both begin growing and a new life is commenced. A roasted seed or boiled grain would rapidly decompose.
A number of reasons exist as to why preference should be given to fresh foods over cooked. According to adherents of “raw” food, the main ones are:
Balance in the Body
Live food preserves the original structure and composition, which provides balance amongst thousands of nutritional substances. Cooking destroys this balance and thereby places excessive burdens on the organs of the human body. Heating leads to denaturing of foods. The food is simultaneously dewatered, and since water plays an essential role in the digestive process, the body must replenish water from other sources.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, offer the best quality water one can imagine. Cooking also causes the coagulation of proteins, breakdown of the structure of molecular bonds and the loss of the ability for food to fulfill its function. Denatured proteins are difficult for the body to use and acidify the organism. With cooking, fats change their structure and become carcinogenic. Sugars caramelize and are difficult for the body to digest. Free radicals are released from bonds. Undigested or indigestible food then clogs the digestive tract, succumbs to fermentation and rotting decomposition and becomes food for molds and microorganisms that are unwanted in these areas.
Vitamins and Minerals
Heat destroys certain vitamins and minerals contained in a food. Most vitamins and some minerals cannot withstand a certain temperature at all. Others remain, but in a modified form. Also in this way, minerals change the form from organically bound to inorganically bound and as such are either unusable or outright damaging for the human body. A classic example is iron. In its organic form it is an essential mineral for the body, while we would have a hard time enjoying inorganic iron.
With cooked foods, inorganic minerals enter the circulatory system and are deposited in arteries and joints, which then lose their flexibility and mobility. We often hear about how certain foods must be cooked, whereas cooking provides better release certain substances from these foods. What is overlooked, however, is that these substances are released in denatured form and that cooking irretrievably destroys tens of other substances.
The third argument for a raw plant diet is enzymatic activity. Enzymes represent life. They are the catalysts of all processes in the human body, ensuring absorption and use of vitamins, minerals and the digestion of other nutrients. Plants contain precisely the kind of composition and amounts of enzymes necessary for their decomposition. Temperatures over 45°C, however completely destroy them. Man’s ability to synthesize his own enzymes is very limited. Regular consumption of foods deprived of these substances leads to worsening metabolism of proteins, starches and fats and to exhaustion of the organism.
Adherents of raw food agree on one “for” reason. Cooked foods not only unnecessarily burden the digestive and excretory organs, consuming energy and disrupting the immune system, but also provide many empty calories. For most raw foodists, eating in accordance with the principles of raw, on the contrary, promotes the body’s return to its natural state of balance, including reduction of excess weight.
In the plant kingdom, we can find hundreds and thousands of great flavors. Despite this, we voluntarily rid food of its natural flavor through cooking and then, to restore some taste to it, we use various spices and harmful salts. Often, we cook foods that we could not eat in their raw state. However, nature surely had a reason why people find that certain foods don’t taste good raw or are expressly indigestible.