The ingredients used throughout my new book Healing with Raw Foods reconnect us to our food-as-fuel roots. As the first culinary option available to human beings, the raw-food path to healing is as old as life on the planet itself. Ancient texts, such as the Bible, even refer to “releasing energy” by sprouting foods and vegetables, and tinctures made from “herbs of the land.” For Hippocrates and other ancient Greek healers, health was a holistic endeavor. Wellness didn’t involve treating symptoms; rather, it focused on restoring balance to the body with fresh foods and herbs. Centuries later many people have lost touch with these concepts. We’ve forgotten the importance of what we eat in promoting good health. Because many of us live in cities, we have little, if any, connection to the raw sources of our food supply. Moreover, we’re more likely to concentrate on the social aspects of what we eat rather than its power in fueling our bodies or restoring balance and good health.
Repairing Cell Health With A Raw Foods Diet
Yet raw or plant-based items are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary to support your vital organs and systems, as well as repair and reverse, rather than cause, damage to your cells. The trillions of microscopic structures that make up the body—your cells—are constantly at work, replenishing and creating balance so that every organ and system works to your life-affirming benefit.
Whether you want to improve your energy levels or tackle a single health issue, living-foods cuisine can help restore wellness and facilitate healing. By making nutritious choices devoid of the toxins present in other foods, you’ll experience tremendous tangible results. The immediate and long-term benefits of awakening your taste buds to exciting new options include weight loss, improved digestion, lowered cholesterol, better blood pressure, increased energy, and enhanced physical endurance. Moreover, you’ll find relief from many health conditions, such as ulcers, indigestion, headaches, chronic fatigue, and depression, which are repeatedly linked to poor diets. Some benefits may even help you avert cancer. But you’ll also reap rewards in other important, perhaps even unexpected, ways. A living-foods lifestyle can lead to sharpened mental clarity, balanced emotions, heightened self-awareness, and even a healthy glow. As amazing as the benefits sound, how does this diet really work? Let’s take a closer look.
Science Joins Nature
There are many reasons why living-foods cuisine can help you achieve optimal health and healing. The chemistry and physics behind this dietary plan make it superb for promoting strength and wellness while fighting disease.
Plant-based selections—the foundation of a raw-foods diet—are free of the additives, chemicals, hormones, and other preservatives found in processed and animal-based foods. As such, they don’t create the harmful acidic environment in which disease thrives. Instead, this eating style encourages a low-toxin, “clean” diet that boosts an alkaline or neutral environment in which disease can’t thrive. Chemically speaking, acidity and alkalinity are measured on a pH or “potential of hydrogen” scale, with 0 to 6 as acidic, 7 as neutral, and 14 as totally alkaline. Nutrient-and enzyme-rich raw or living foods help achieve the neutral to moderately alkaline level your body needs to prevent disease.
Give A Boost To Your Vital Organs with Raw Foods
Raw foods are full of high-density nutrients, packaged by nature so the body can use them efficiently. By supplying essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and other components, they help maintain vital organs and optimal health. These nutrients have added value in that they also assist in detoxifying or ridding your body of harmful substances. They restore vital balance conducive to good health.
Besides delivering essential nutrients, plant-based foods are also rich in enzymes, protein molecules or catalysts necessary for keeping the body running efficiently. The enzymes involved in digestion break down food into nutrients of all sorts so they can be used effectively. Although our bodies produce their own enzymes, it’s a finite reserve. You need help from other sources. The abundant supplement offered by plant-based foods helps process nutrients efficiently so the body can go about maintaining vital organs and promoting good health.
Also, unlike traditional high-temperature heating methods, which can break down essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as well as create by-products toxic to your health, the raw foods in this diet are never heated above 118ºF. That means none of their wholesome nature is removed or “killed” by cooking. Instead, this temperature guarantees the healthiest and biggest nutritional boost possible! I even named my California restaurants 118 Degrees because I believe strongly in preparing our cuisine in such a way that we maintain that same wholesome nature and living energy of every ingredient.
Alive in Living Energy
For many of us, it’s just common sense that a plant-based diet is healthier for your body than a diet of chemically laced or traditionally processed options. But now specialized Kirlian photography, which can actually capture the energy field around an object, gives further credence to the notion that raw foods, particularly those grown organically, produce many life-sustaining benefits because they really are alive and contain their own signature electromagnetic frequencies.
This technique reveals measurable differences in the auras or halos emitted by raw versus cooked or otherwise treated food. The images show that organic selections have an energy flow that is substantially more vibrant and balanced than the uneven and reduced flows produced by traditional foods.
Why is this important? If energy is truly indicative of a food’s vitality, then it stands to reason that we’ll receive more life-giving sustenance by eating items that emit the highest possible auras. That means ridding our diets of overprocessed and pesticide-ridden foods in favor of organic selections that are “alive” and as close as possible to the way nature intended them.
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 creations have captivated customers nationwide, and her product line is available in health-food stores throughout the country. Jenny works with clients of all backgrounds, motivating them toward more vibrant health while teaching them about the healing power of living foods. Her award-winning cuisine has drawn a celebrity clientele to her restaurant and has been a positive catalyst for changing many lives.