Living foods are all plant foods that still possess an energetic life force. Fruits and vegetables are considered a living food weeks after harvest – some winter squash months and months after harvest. Tree nuts, seeds, legumes and grains can remain dormant for months, sometimes years, until soaked for just hours and sprouted to life again. Even fruit and berries like raisins, apricots, apples, and cranberries that have been dehydrated at temperatures up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47.78 degrees Celsius) will become a living food once rehydrated again – simply by soaking in fresh purified water. There will be less life force once harvested – but nonetheless all will still be considered living food.
Once cooked above 118 degrees Fahrenheit this life force energy in the food will no longer exist. It then becomes a dead food. There will still be some nutrient value, but nowhere near the amount of nutrient density as was in the fresh uncooked, raw version of that fruit or vegetable. Cooked food in any food group is actually considered a processed food.
All fruits and vegetables contain important enzymes which once destroyed by heat no longer exist. These enzymes within each fruit, vegetable, sprouted nut, seed, and legume, act like catalysts, or keys, in triggering the process of proper efficient digestion and how effectively our bodies assimilate and break down all the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Although we are born with the essential digestive enzymes in the amazing chemical factories we call our bodies, as we age the amount our bodies produce declines.
I believe that in addition to our aging bodies, the reason for a decrease in the body’s production of enzymes may be the result of a diet made up of an excess of cooked, processed, and manufactured food – that we humans in the modern western world consume daily. For the average 35 year old female almost every food guide you refer to recommends a minimum of 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables to maintain good nutritional health. That’s either 7-8 pieces of fruit, or 7-8 half cup servings of canned or frozen fruit, vegetables, or juice, or 8 cups of leafy greens or salad. Because for most individuals the ratio of cooked food (food void of enzymes) to fresh fruit and vegetables well exceeds what the majority of dietitians and nutritionists recommend – our bodies are not given the proper instructions from the cooked food we ingest to produce the catalysts, or unlock the keys, that eating fresh fruit and vegetables would naturally instruct our bodies to do. And if our bodies are never required to create these enzymes then our bodies will turn off the mechanisms that produce these critical enzymes.
But here’s the good news: we can definitely retrain our bodies over time how to break down and digest more fruits and vegetables. We can learn how to prepare fruit and veggies in delicious, irresistible new ways that will satisfy even the most discerning, fussy foodies. It’s not just about carrot sticks and green salads anymore!
Science has proven that our bodies not only require, but depend on the nutrients in living foods. Eating a solely SAD (Standard American Diet) will eventually lead to illness, disease, and maybe even premature death. That we know for certain. Even if we consumed a SAD diet supplementing with essential nutrients like: calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, B12, iron, vitamin D, essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, theonine, tryptophan, valine ), and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9), the level of nutrient absorption and assimilation does not compare to a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, the way nature intended. Fruit and vegetables also have naturally occurring pre-biotics and pro-biotics which promote strong intestinal health, also extremely important for nutrient absorption and elimination.
Once you have felt the benefits of eating fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables you cannot deny the feeling of well-being that comes from eating such nutrient dense, perfectly balanced, goodness. Not only will you feel energized and nourished on a physical level – but eating more of these fruits and vegetables will assist your body in making the critical chemicals and hormones that help produce positive, loving, mental clarity and good feelings.
So knowing that eating more fruits and vegetables is a big part in achieving optimal health – why don’t we eat more? Because diet and lifestyle are simply habits and belief systems trained into us from the time we are born. It’s about shifting your way of thinking. And if your goal is truly about achieving optimal health, well being, and longevity – and not to mention fewer doctor visits and no medications – you will find the power and self love to make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle. We do not need to get sick as we age as we are programmed by society and media to believe. We can all live healthy, joyful, energetic, active lifestyles well into our 90’s –and older! Let living and raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, be your predominant source of fuel and energy – and watch your world take on a whole new perspective. Your body, your family, and the planet, will thank you.
Much love and gratitude,