Eating raw and choosing organic is a concept not completely understood by a great portion of the population, but when you get to the core of the subject, it’s is pretty simple.
Eating raw and choosing organic is the only sustainable way for us to exist while keeping our bodies healthy and the earth healthy not just for us, but for the next generation too.
Heating and cooking food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit (or 47 degrees Celsius) affects its nutritional content. It diminishes the nutrients and enzymes, which are necessary for our bodies to function well and defend us from diseases. Water soluble vitamins such as B and C are especially sensitive to heat, whereas proteins and minerals can withstand more cooking.
Enzymes are protein molecules that become biological catalysts that aids the human body to breakdown, digest and absorb vitamins and minerals within the food that we eat. Our bodies also produce enzymes, but these diminish as we age, thus the need to consume more raw foods containing live enzymes to make it easier for our body to maximize the nutrients from food.
Further, consuming raw foods safeguard the proper pH of our bodies, which can be done by ensuring our body has a healthy acid-alkaline balance. When the body is acidic, it is more susceptible to illness – our immunity is impaired which can escalate into serious health conditions like heart disease and cancers. It affects different areas of our body including our blood, hormones, bones and joints, digestive, and excretory systems, among others.
Meanwhile, raw foods, especially leafy green vegetables, and even some fruits are alkaline in nature, which are responsible for increased stamina, improved immunity, better digestion and in effect, weight loss. Consuming raw foods is one of the easiest ways to maintain the body’s delicate pH balance, which is easily distorted by acidic foods.
One might start thinking though, if it’s just the rawness of the food that we are after why must it be organic too? Organic is a choice you make that does not only nourish your body but in the bigger picture nurtures the whole planet, ensuring sustainability.
In commercial agriculture, the soil degrades due to the high amount of pesticides and other chemicals used when planting fruits, vegetables, and crops, making it less conducive for cultivation in the future. Worse, these chemicals are absorbed into the foods themselves, and once ingested, these become a part of us too. In small amounts, these chemicals might not ‘hurt’ us, but as these chemicals accumulate in the body, they can become toxic.
On choosing organic, and which food contains the most chemicals, this list guide called “The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” is a resource that would be useful when stocking up your pantry. This is a good place to start whether you are transitioning to a raw, plant-based and organic food diet.
The Dirty Dozen
- sweet bell peppers
- hot peppers
- cherry tomatoes
- kale and collard greens
The Clean Fifteen
- sweet corn
- sweet peas
- sweet potatoes
Danielle Arsenault, founder of Pachavega Living Foods Education digs in her toolbox of skills and passions, to hone in on fresh, gourmet, raw foods as a way to entertain, educate and inspire. She offers Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching, Private Catering and is the creator of the popular 70-hour *Heal and Ignite* Raw Food Chef Certification Course. Boasting a collection of mouth watering recipes, she has also co-authored 4 vegan, gluten-free and seasonal cookbooks released with Jessica Perlaza under the name the “Kitchens of Pinch and Dash”. With a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and an Education degree in the Masters of Teaching Program from the University of Calgary, she is a passionate Holistic Educator and wears many hats. Keeping busy as an avid rock climber, cave guide, colon hydrotherapist, fluent Spanish speaker and adventure seeker she has traveled to over 25 countries. Danielle is also a singer/songwriter and under her musical pseudonym, Mustache Fable, she released her debut ukulele-infused album in 2012. As a professor at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC in 2014, she taught Holistic Nutrition Cooking, Superfoods and Whole Foods Preparation and continues to further her study in the science behind nutrition. In the summer of 2016 she will release her 5th cookbook, “Heal and Ignite; 55 Plant-based, Whole Food Recipes to Heal your Body and Ignite your Spirit”. Feel free to visit her various websites: www.pachavega.com, www.facebook.com/pachavega.living.foods.education