Join Our Community

Let Nature Feed You

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Let Nature Feed You

3 reasons to try a living-food lifestyle.
Jenny  Ross
Jenny Ross More by this author
Jul 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM

“Let your food be your medicine, your medicine food.” — Hippocrates

Living or “raw” foods are those that have not been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the commonly agreed-upon temperature when plant-based ingredients begin to break down and lose essential vitamin and mineral content, as well as enzymes. Pure and simple, raw foods are natural foods in their natural state. In addition to the breakdown of enzymes and nutrients, many modern-day cooking methods actually create by-products during the heating process that have been found to be toxic.

Raw foods are primarily plant based. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains are the basis of this culinary lifestyle. In addition, living-foods enthusiasts oftentimes make use of high-grade minerals and other superfoods as a way of restoring balance. Juicing is an effective alternative-health remedy and is currently being used in several cancer-treatment centers worldwide, with incredible life-enhancing results. A high-nutrient-density diet goes a long way toward maintaining overall health, and living foods are at the top of the scale in terms of nutrient density and purity.

Living foods are not a new idea; in fact, many would counter that this is the oldest notion of how to eat. The Bible contains several references to living-food preparations; early texts discuss the heating of plant-based ingredients and “cooking” using the energy of the sun. In many ancient cultures where longevity of life was enjoyed, there was also a focus on fresh, living foods.

This style of eating can help you reach and maintain your health goals, for three main reasons:

  1. The living-foods lifestyle encourages a very low-toxin diet, with a focus on the function of every food and how it is helping you achieve health. With living foods, there are simply no fillers, preservatives, or unneeded additives that do not benefit your body in some way. As a result, the living-foods diet is largely alkaline forming. Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment; it must have a toxic acidic one to thrive. Picture the pH test strips from your high-school chemistry class. On the pH scale, 14 is totally alkaline, 7 is neutral, and 0–6 is acidic. The body should be anywhere from neutral to moderately alkaline to prevent disease.
  2. Raw foods constitute a plant-based diet, which has been proven to maintain strong vital organs and bodily function. Overall health has been shown to drastically improve in direct relationship to how much plant-based eating you’re doing. From providing essential proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to detoxifying the body where necessary, this eating style serves to keep you in balance.
  3. Living foods have the power to heal the body by reintroducing essential vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes—the catalysts that break down food into a usable state. With a diet rich in enzymes, your body isn’t overwhelmed with the breaking-down process (called assimilation) and has time then to go about the business of maintaining a vital system and promoting health.
About Author
Jenny  Ross
Jenny Ross, the owner and executive chef of the living-foods restaurant 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa, California, has been a pioneering spirit of the raw-foods movement since 2000, beginning with her first Los Angeles café. As a chef, her unique creatio Continue reading