By Neill Abayon
At least 75% to 80% of your diet should consist of foods in their natural uncooked state. There are numerous studies which demonstrate superiority of raw, living foods, both for maintenance of health and prevention of disease, as well as for the healing of disease. Cooking destroy much of the nutritional value of most foods. Many vitamins are partly destroyed, minerals are leeched and all enzymes are destroyed by temperatures over 120O F.
Cooking also changes the biochemical structure of amino acids (proteins) and fatty acids, and makes them only partially digestible. For example, it has been demonstrated at the Max Plank Institute for Nutritional Research that you need only one-half the amount of protein in your diet if you eat protein foods raw instead of cooked.
Sprouting is an excellent way to eat seeds, beans and grains in raw form. Sprouting increases nutritional value of foods; many new vitamins are created or multiplied in seeds and grains. Some grains and legumes, which do not contain complete proteins, become complete protein foods after they are sprouted.
Another excellent way to increase the amount of raw food in your diet is to eat lots of fermented lactic acid foods, such as homemade sauerkraut, pickles or lactic acid vegetables. Especially for those who live in cold northern regions, fermenting foods is an excellent way to preserve vegetable for winter use, and not only preserve, but increase their nutritive value – without cooking.
It would be ideal, of course, to eat a 100% raw food diet. This is possible to do if you live in an ideal tropical or subtropical climate, man’s natural habitat, where fresh, natural foods are available whole year round. In colder, northern regions of the United States, Canada and Europe, a 100% raw food diet would be difficult for most people to maintain indefinitely, although few nutritionally-well-educated raw foodists are able to do this. A good practical solution, therefore, would be to eat most of your food, perhaps 80%, in the raw, uncooked state. Practically all fruits, vegetables and seeds can be eaten raw. A few vegetables such as potatoes and yams, dried beans and peas, and some grain such as rye, rice buckwheat and millet, can be used in cooked form; however, cooked foods should not comprise more than 20% of the total caloric intake.