Friday, April 27, 2012

Improve your Digestion with Raw Food!

Hello nutrition-minded foodies and wellness lovers! 

Today I have invited raw foods enthusiast Daisy Hernandez from the Wellness {Pulse} to share her knowledge and expertise about the benefits of raw foods for digestion! She also has an excellent recipe for a zucchini dill spread, made entirely with ingredients that are beneficial for improving digestion! 

Almost everyone has heard of the raw foods diet by now, and I have a feeling that many of you have actually experimented with the living foods lifestyle in one way or another.

While it's highly debatable and individual as to what percentage of your diet needs to be raw to enjoy the many benefits of living foods, I am 99.9% sure that there isn't a single intelligent person who would disagree that adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds (provided you are not allergic), would have anything but a positive effect on your overall health and wellness!

"The Benefits of Raw Food for Digestion"
by Daisy Hernandez

"When I hear the word raw I immediately picture an image that hasn't been retouched or enhanced, it's in its purest form - just how you shot it. The same rings true to what we eat, the less 'enhancements' we do to our foods - the more natural goodness we’ll be putting into our body.

Eating raw foods is the most natural form of eating and how our ancestors back in their cavemen years used to eat. Back then, there weren't any stoves, microwaves or toaster ovens. It was all raw. It wasn’t until we began introducing unnatural foods into our lives that we started to come across epidemics such as diabetes, cancer and chronic digestive issues.

As of now, over 8% of the population in the United States is suffering from a digestive disorder and in Canada close to 20 million a year. Supplements and other products are shelved in grocery and health food store aisles carrying an extreme amount of sugar and other things I can’t even pronounce that can have our system working overtime and clogging things up anyway.

The problem with digestion is that when it's not running properly, not only do we begin to notice other issues such as constant headaches, acne, low energy, but we also feel uncomfortable. The food we've ingested from over 24 hours ago hasn't passed, our system is lagging. Just think of a rundown car struggling to start up, can you hear its drowning sound?

There are 3 types of enzymes that get our motor running in our overall digestion:

  • digestive enzymes
  • metabolic enzymes
  • food enzymes
By eating  more raw-inspired goodness, we begin to bring in more active enzymes into our bodies that help digest and absorb nutrients into our cells.  The food enzymes are the ones that start the food digestion and guess where they can be sourced? Raw fruits and vegetables!

By heating our food to over 110 degrees we begin to kill off these enzymes and the nourishment we are looking to bring into our body is much less.

All raw foods are rich in enzymes, however, sprouted seeds, grains and legumes have the powerful punch. Sprouting can be done by soaking these foods, once they being to sprout their enzyme content has increased substantially.

For our digestion, it’s important to figure out what the problem is. If it’s bloating, sprouting of black, kidney or garbanzo beans could make matters worse. Start small then increase to see how you feel. What's most important it's to listen to your body, it knows what it needs.

I love incorporating raw foods into my day-to-day but I don't go extreme, I like to cook with whole foods as a way to balance things out for myself. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another. This way of eating works for me!"

Recipe: Zucchini Dill Spread

2 cups zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1 garlic clove
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth.
Add sea salt to taste.
Serve as a dip or spread to make a wrap.

Daisy is a designer gone rogue who’s own designer lifestyle led her to find healthy alternatives to living lighter. Inspired by her findings, she has become an integrative wellness coach and raw foods chef working with ladies in creative professional roles who love their craft but are searching to find their unique wellness potential. 

Twitter: @DaisyHdez

Have an amazing day!

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