Health & Fitness
Eating is of course a natural instinct which keeps us alive, but taking a look at the way in which we get this sustenance can lead to some interesting discoveries about both the metabolic and psycho-spiritual effects of our food preparation and consumption.
Raw foods are nature’s purest form of food as they offer themselves unadorned and unaltered without distractions. Eating a raw vegan diet, even partially, is an amazing way to literally flood one’s system with the most nutrient rich food sources – raw fruits, vegetables, as well as seeds, nuts, and sprouted beans/grains. Food is deemed “raw” as long as it remains under 116 degrees Fahrenheit as anything above this causes food to start losing valuable enzymes and nutrients, which make it “alive”. Eating these living foods helps to really increase ones own internal aliveness and energy. Raw food has incredible healing powers, and if done the right way, can completely sustain a person on a vibrant and healthy life path.
Cross-culturally, humans often modify their food by the application of heat. This is referred to as cooking. But why? Why not eat everything as it is in nature; pure and natural? Cooking in fact softens fibre and cellulose in stares, making them easier to digest and their nutrients more absorbable. Cooking animal proteins helps to inactivate bacteria and microorganisms making them safer for human consumption. While cooking food can cause some nutrients to be lost, they also make what is left more easily accessible to the body, so the trade off is worth it. Cooking simplifies the digestive process by taking over some of the work usually done by the stomach, pancreas, and liver, and when less energy is taken up by digestion more of it is available for brain and body use. People with digestive issues often find great relief in eating only cooked foods. Besides that, cooking foods can also help to “warm” a person, and thus is especially useful during colder times.
Another popular way of modifying food is by engaging the services of microorganisms to ferment or pickle a food, thus preserving it and changing its nutritional makeup. Fermentation has gained a lot of popularity as of late as its amazing health benefits are becoming more apparent. Fermentation is achieved with the aid of external yeasts and bacteria to lengthen preservation time, increase nutritional value, and combine with vitamins and enzymes to make a balance of amino acids that are more digestible. Fermented foods are amazing for anyone looking to improve their digestion, especially that of proteins and carbohydrates, as these foods greatly increase intestinal flora. Like anything, too much of this good thing can be problematic, but as long as an individual is not suffering from a yeast overgrowth of any kind, adding fermented foods to the diet can be greatly beneficial and tasty!
These three ways of preparing food, eating and living have their own unique aspects to them. Both in how they affect the physical being and the mental/emotional being. Exploring these different ways and being conscientious about how and why you eat what you eat is an amazing way to finding optimal health and wellness.