The short answer: keeping food raw, or living, preserves its naturally-occurring enzymes. Cooking food changes its molecular structure and often depletes some of its nutrients.
The longer answer: In general, the act of heating food destroys enzymes in food.In some foods however, lightly cooking or steaming can bring nutrition into a bio-available format that is more readily absorbed by the human organism. Overall, living and raw foods have enormously higher nutrient values than the foods that have been cooked.
This principle is based on the work of biochemist Artturi Virtanen and on the research of Dr. Edward Howell, an Illinois physician born in 1898. Dr. Howell researched the role enzymes play in a person’s diet. He concluded that eating cooked food leads to health problems.
In 1985, Dr. Howell published a book in which he claimed that laboratory rats fed cooked foods had overly large pancreases. Some raw food diet proponents believe that Dr. Howell’s book shows that having a diet primarily made up of cooked foods forces the pancreas to work harder and that food enzymes are just as essential to digestion as the body’s self-generated enzymes.
In his book Enzyme Nutrition, Dr. Edward Howell writes:
“Humans eating an enzyme-less diet use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in lavish secretions of the pancreas and other digestive organs. The result is a shortened lifespan (65 years or less as compared with 100 or more), illness, and lower resistance to stress of all types, psychological and environmental. By eating foods with their enzymes intact and by supplementing cooked foods with enzyme capsules we can stop abnormal and pathological aging processes.”
Enzymes give our body chemistry its vitality and boost our metabolisms. In addition, as molecules that enable food breakdown, they also play a critically important role within our digestive system. For example, enzymes in our saliva allow us to break down starches. Enzymes in our stomach help us break down proteins. Enzymes in our intestines help us break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates of all kinds.
Dr. Humbart Santillo, M.D., states in his book Intuitive Eating:
“A human being is not maintained by food intake alone, but rather by what is digested. Every food must be broken down by enzymes to simpler building blocks. Enzymes may be divided into 2 groups, exogenous (found in raw food) and endogenous (produced within our bodies). The more one gets of the exogenous enzymes, the less will have to be borrowed from other metabolic processes and supplied by the pancreas. The enzymes contained in raw food actually aid in the digestion of that same food when it is chewed. One can live many years on a cooked food diet, but eventually this will cause cellular enzyme exhaustion which lays the foundation for a weak immune system and ultimately disease.”
In February 2005, NewScientist magazine reported on a theory from anthropologist Peter Lucas (George Washington University, Washington D.C., US). Lucas' theory states that because man is the only mammal with chronic poor dentition and the only mammal to significantly process and cook food, these two facts have a causal relationship.
Lucas believes that the adoption of food processing and cooking reduced the size of our jaw through evolutionary processes, but not the size of our teeth; hence the expansion of orthodontics. Conversely, research suggests that a diet of unprocessed and uncooked food is more likely to promote health.
The benefits of going raw-vegan are boundless.
Raw foods are easy to digest, and they provide the maximum amount of energy with minimal bodily effort. Studies have shown that living foods have healing powers that can alleviate many illnesses from low energy, allergies, digestive disorders, weakened immune systems, high cholesterol, and candida, to obesity & weight problems (weight normalization), etc.
Research and real life experiences have also shown that a person can prevent a body’s healthy cells from turning into malignant cancerous cells (by lowering the number of free radicals) from consuming mostly a raw food diet & whole organic foods. We are proud to provide a complete line of delicious, raw food products.