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If vibrant energy, a happier mindset, a more positive body image, less toxicity, and better health in general are goals of yours then incorporating more raw food into your diet may be a great place to start. While you can find many different standards for what defines a raw food, it is generally accepted that “raw” means minimally processed with either no heat or temperatures below 118 degrees F. Why does temperature matter so much? At certain temperatures key nutrients such as antioxidants, amino acids, volatile essential fatty acids and phytonutrients can degrade or be completely destroyed, and life promoting water and enzymes are lost. A raw food lifestyle most often involves eating mainly organic, and may or may not involve animal products. By keeping the majority of our foods in their raw state we reap as much nutritional benefit from our food as possible and experience higher levels of wellness as a result.
True veganism involves the complete elimination of animal derived products in both diet and lifestyle. This would include products such as eggs, dairy, and meat, as well as things such as leather, wool, silk, gelatin, and even honey. A person may choose veganism for a myriad of reasons that affect many facets of life such as our physical health, the treatment of animals, and our environmental footprint. While there are many ways to better the world becoming vegan is one which packs a powerful punch. For instance in consuming a truly plant based diet one eliminates contribution to factory farming, deforestation and pollution resulting from farmed animals, and also sets the stage for a more compassionate global future for all sentient beings.
“Try organic food…..or as your grandparents called it, ‘food.'” This catchy little statement is a bit ironic and definitely thought provoking. While it may seem like “organic” is a new age concept, the use of chemicals and pesticides in our food production is in fact much more modern. The Organic Consumers Association states that about 20% of the food we eat tests positive for pesticide residue. Shockingly many of these pesticides have even been banned long ago for being overly hazardous to our health. Eating organic not only ensures that you lessen your exposure to toxic chemicals, but that the world as a whole is moving towards a safer and healthier future. While anything can be grown organically, actual organic certification is critical in regulating standards for our food production, and offers the peace of mind that the food we’re eating is in fact safe for consumption. We as consumers have the power; the larger the demand for organic food, the more farmers will be forced to switch to this form of agriculture. If there were only one thing to do for your health and the health of all earthly life purchasing and eating organically grown food is it.
The basic truth is that genetically modified foods are brand new to our existence, have not been properly tested for safety, and since their massive infiltration into our food supply chronic diseases and systemic allergies have doubled. Altering the genetic material of a seed opens the door for a patent over that seed, meaning that there is an immense quantity of money to be made from the creation of GMO’s. It means the potential of owning the entire world’s food supply. However, altering genes and setting seeds loose into the world to crossbreed with other species means the possible devastation of plants that have been flourishing and nourishing us for millennia. It also means that we no longer know exactly what it is we’re eating when biting into a juicy, succulent tomato, and foods that we once thought were healthy for us could in fact be making us very sick.
Gluten is actually a protein found in wheat and related species such as rye, barley and kamut. This protein gives wheat products their characteristically chewy texture. While not inherently “bad” for you by definition, gluten can cause inflammatory reactions in many individuals. The most intense version of this would be celiac disease in which the individual may have chronic and extreme digestive disturbances which cause malabsorption of nutrients, pain, a poor quality of life and can even lead to other states of serious disease. While not everyone has celiac disease many people still find gluten to be an allergen or simply an irritant to their system and can experience greater levels of health by avoiding it.