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The Power of Raw Foods

By: Lola Frailey Tuesday December 29, 2015 comments Tags: raw food, raw noni

Want more energy, more satisfying food, and better immune response? Try incorporating some more raw foods into your diet!

You don’t have to go on a restrictive diet to start enjoying more raw foods. Just adding some more fresh and dehydrated fruits and vegetables to your diet can make a big difference. In particular, adding raw, organic Noni Fruit Leather to your diet can hugely improve your overall health and well-being.

Keep reading to learn more about raw foods, and how they can improve your quality of life.

What’s the Definition of a “Raw Food?”

fruit

In general, a raw food is simply a food that hasn’t been cooked. Many raw foodists talk about food that’s “alive.” Specifically, raw food refers to  food which has been kept below 115 degrees.

Raw foods can be eaten fresh, juiced, pureed, or dehydrated. There’s a wide variety of recipes, substitutions, and creative combinations out there.

Types of Raw Foods

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Unroasted nuts
  • Sprouted grains
  • Seeds

Some raw foodists also include animal products like organic eggs, organic raw yogurt, raw fish, and even raw meat. Obviously there are significant dangers associated with eating raw animal products, and most raw foodists are vegan.

What Happens to Food When It’s Cooked?

Different kinds of foods react differently to being cooked, but cooking always dramatically changes the chemical composition of food. In general, cooking maximizes the amount of calories a person gets from food, while limiting the nutrition that can be extracted.

This easy access to calories allowed our primitive ancestors to have significant advantages over other species, but, in our modern lifestyle, eating too much cooked food gives us a lot of calories for just a little nutrition. Not ideal for weight-loss, sustained energy, healthy blood sugar levels, or good digestion.

Vitamins

The human body needs a wide variety of vitamins for good health, including the important antioxidants in Vitamins A and C. Many vitamins are destroyed by heat, particularly Vitamins C, B1, B5, B6, and B9. In particular, pasteurized products, including juices, lose a huge amount of Vitamin C.

Enzymes

Enzymes break down raw foods. They’re the reason that foods spoil — they’re being broken up and fermented by enzymes. When you eat fresh, raw food, those enzymes go to work helping your body fully digest the nutrients in the food you eat. That’s why it can be good to finish a meal with a raw salad!

Enzymes are incredibly heat-sensitive, however. When you preserve food by canning or pasteurization, part of what you’re doing is eliminating the enzymes that would cause the food to spoil. But your body misses them!

Case Study: Raw Noni vs. Noni Juice

Noni is a great example of the importance of raw foods, because there’s such a dramatic difference. As a raw food, noni has been used for thousands of years by Polynesians to treat and prevent a wide variety of ailments.

Lately, however, there’s been a huge increase in the amount of noni juice being made and sold. The makers claim it has all the important nutrition available in the raw fruit. But the facts simply don’t support this.

Fermentation

Noni fruit has a unique problem. As soon as the mature fruit is picked it begins to ripen like a soft tomato. Within hours of ripening it starts to ferment. Fermentation is the conversion of the sugars in the fruit into alcohol. The alcohol dramatically changes the chemical composition of the fruit.

For some fruits and vegetables, fermentation is hugely beneficial. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are very good for the body. But fermenting noni destroys a huge percentage of the antioxidants in the raw fruit, without adding any benefits.

In order to make noni juice, you have to fully ferment the noni fruit, cutting the potency. Raw noni fruit is many times more potent than noni juice, particularly when it comes to antioxidants.

Antioxidants in food are measured in ORAC units (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). The ORAC value shows how quickly a food can turn reactive oxidizing compounds (which can cause aging, cancer, and other issues) into harmless chemical substances.

Per 100 grams, blueberries score 2,400 on the ORAC scale, and apples clock in at 3,082. Noni juice sits at 1,506 ORAC, while Noni Fruit Leather scored an incredible 340,000. Our Noni Fruit Leather scores so much better because it’s made from the raw fruit that has not been fermented.

Pasteurization

Noni juice isn’t just fermented. For safety, it’s also pasteurized. Pasteurization is a high heat preservation method, which, as mentioned earlier, has an unfortunate side effect of destroying the beneficial enzymes in the raw fruit.

Low-Heat Dehydration

We found a different solution to the noni preservation problem — one which proves how valuable raw foods are for excellent health. We’ve found that removing the water from noni by slowly dehydrating the fruit pulp at a low temperature maintains the full benefit of the raw fruit.

We keep our dehydrators lower than 115 degrees, so the enzymes, antioxidants, and other vitamins stay intact. When we sent a sample of our Noni Fruit Leather and a sample of a leading brand of noni juice to an independent lab, they confirmed that our product was 14 times more potent.

This just goes to show how big of a difference raw food can make. The more you can incorporate into your diet, the more of those live, potent nutrients you can absorb into your body.

How to Incorporate More Raw Food Into Your Diet

You don’t have to switch to a fully raw diet to get substantial nutritional benefits. Here are a few easy ways to get your daily dose of raw!

  • Switch out a few breakfasts per week for a homemade raw green smoothie or juice
  • Add a small fresh salad to your lunch
  • Snack on whole, raw fruit, or dehydrated fruit
  • Learn some easy raw side dishes
  • Eat a small amount of Noni Fruit Leather each day

How do you incorporate more raw foods into your diet? Let us know in the comments!

Lola Frailey

About the Author: Lola Frailey