The raw lifestyle keeps gaining ground, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, raw foods’ vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, protein power and healthy fats are retained since they’re not heated above a certain temperature. Maybe that’s why raw food eaters typically have higher blood levels of key nutrients.
The truth is that many vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins are lost or denatured in cooking or processing. Most raw foods, however, contain the very enzymes your body needs for digestion and nutrient absorption of that food. Unfortunately, food enzymes are destroyed when heated above 112 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Without those all-important enzymes, our digestive systems work harder to digest food. The pancreas and other organs feel the strain, too, as does your body’s ability to rebuild cells and tissues or to keep the immune system strong.
That’s why eating raw is body friendly. The body responds favorably to raw foods. Did you know that cooked food can also cause the blood to increase in white blood cells, mimicking an infection or toxin-fighting response? This was thought to be a normal reaction until researchers noted that this response didn’t occur when people ate raw foods.
Raw food eaters are also very choosey. They, like other health-conscious people, want to know exactly what goes into their food, so that it supplies what’s needed for their busy lives.
If there’s any challenge to eating raw, however, it may be in finding a high-quality, complete raw protein source with all the necessary amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, determining protein’s biological activity. Humans produce 10 of the 20 amino acids, but the other 10 must come from our diet. If you’re missing even one of the 10 essential amino acids, then the body takes protein from other areas, including muscles, to get the one missing amino acid. Amino acids must be supplied daily by the diet via proteins.
Everyone needs a complete protein, too, because it supplies energy and builds muscles, new cells, tissues, enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Protein also increases stamina and supports a healthy weight. In short, we must have proteins because they catalyze our cells and cellular processes.
There’s some good news, though, for raw food eaters and vegans who seek a complete protein. Brown rice protein packs a powerful protein wallop, and when combined with other raw ingredients, it delivers a complete protein. For example, brown rice protein is nutritionally rich and packed with enzymes with about 70 percent protein content and four times more arginine—for better nutrient delivery—than other protein sources. Brown rice protein is also rich in glutamine, for muscle growth and immune health.
Additionally, brown rice provides high amounts of manganese, a trace mineral that produces energy from protein and carbohydrates and helps synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol. It’s also part of an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which fights off free radicals. Brown rice provides fiber and selenium, too. Selenium is a trace mineral at the active site of many proteins and is essential to thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems and immune function. Brown rice is also rich in magnesium, a mineral co-factor of over 300 enzymes, including enzymes necessary for healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium also supports cardiovascular health, healthy blood pressure levels and strong bones.
But wait . . . there’s more. Sprouted brown rice protein has more fiber, three times the lysine (an essential amino acid) and ten times the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)—an amino acid that supports healthy kidney function—than regular brown rice. Why? The sprouting process activates enzymes that release additional nutrients.
Then there’s the organic factor. Many raw food eaters say to choose organic because it doesn’t do you any good to eat raw food for the nutrient content if the food has been raised with chemicals.
How about you? Isn’t it time to experience the body-friendly effects of eating raw, including a complete protein?