It's official: The hottest health craze is here and it's completely uncooked.
It also promises weight loss, great skin and energy galore. But before you get too excited, know that your food must be cooked at temperatures below 104 to 118 degrees to be considered "raw."
Still want that bowl of cold soup?
Cooking food kills off its precious, naturally-occurring enzymes, which are said to be the very life force that allows us to digest nutrients that keep us glowing and energized. It's also speculated that a lack of those enzymes can cause accelerated aging and weight gain. No thanks!
So is it worth un-cooking your life?
Well, it's a bit tricky. For example, when broccoli and some other veggies are cooked, their heath benefits are diminished, while other foods become more healthful after cooking because fiber is broken down.
Related: Gassy and Bloated
Ask the Doc
Joel Fuhrman, a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods, weighs in: "Eating lots of raw foods is a key feature of an anti-cancer diet and a long life. But are there advantages to eating a diet of all raw foods and excluding all cooked foods? The answer is no. In fact, eating an exclusively raw-food diet is a disadvantage."
He explains that not all cooked foods are bad. Yes, most of us need to eat more raw in general, but going 100-percent raw is not necessarily healthy either.
Only you can determine what's right for your lifestyle, but before you join the raw parade, definitely do your research. In the meantime, here is an easy raw recipe that is one of my personal favorites and a great addition to a well-balanced and veggie-based diet.
Raw Cauliflower Salad
What You Need
Head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons of hemp oil
Dash of sea salt
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of Bragg amino acids
How to Make It
Chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Mix all ingredients together until coated completely. Adjust the amounts of yeast, hemp oil and Bragg depending on how "coated" you want your cauliflower salad to be. I often add more for a "cheesier" taste. Enjoy!
Have you done the raw food diet? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below! And be sure to sign up for our FREE daily feed to get health tips and tricks delivered to your inbox.
Image sources: catsper, woodleywonderworks, Horia Varlan
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an