How Raw Foods Can Promote Regularity
For you to understand how important being regular is, it is probably important you first understand what irregularity means. Many people are not regular and don't realize it. Consider how many bowel movements you have during the day.
Do you have one, two, and three? None? Most people have less than three during the day, a sign of irregularity. If you are not having three consistent bowel movements a day the chances are high you are irregular. A health person eating plenty of fiber and drinking lots of water, enough to remain hydrated should have roughly three bowel movements each day.
Effects of Chronic Irregularity
This fact shocks most people. This is because so many people walk around constipated they don't realize what being regular means. There are many consequences of not being regular. Irregularity can have devastating effects on the body and the colon. Here are just a few effects of irregularity:
Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
- Hemorrhoids or worse, anal fissures, which can cause pain and rectal bleeding both externally and internally. Most people that develop these conditions actually experience more constipation because it becomes painful to have a bowel movement, so they avoid one.
- Impacted feces, a condition where feces become so hardened it becomes stuck in the bowel, forming an obstruction. This can be dangerous, and result in bacteria growing within the bowels in some cases. In other cases it can cause a person to strain so hard they develop a hernia.
- Development of cancers of the colon, which may result from long-term impacted fecal matter.
- Clogged lymph nodes, poor skin, and ill-functioning kidneys, all resulting from the lack of ability to remove waste matter from the body. Decreased energy and lethargy.
- Chronic pain or malaise, including joint pain or muscle pains. Some people develop arthritis-like conditions.
- Problems with the gallbladder.
The good news is many of these problems can be eliminated or greatly reduced by consuming much more fiber and water. The elimination of many processed foods can also help improve symptoms. Unfortunately most of today's modern diet contains too much sodium, too many preservatives and too little fiber.
This is not the case with a raw food diet. A raw food diet is high in vitamins, minerals, water and fiber. A raw food diet can actually improve one's bowel health and decrease problems with constipation, stimulating the bowels to function normally.
If one decides to adopt a raw foods diet, they can first embark on a cleansing ritual like a colonic or enema for a few days to eliminate impacted fecal matter. They can then embark on a healthy journey toward wellness.
What is a Raw Foods Diet All About?
A raw food diet consists primary of consuming plant foods that are not processed and not cooked. The staples of this diet include:
- Fruits (fresh and organic)
- Vegetables (uncooked)
- Sprouted seeds and nuts
- Grains (soaked and sprouted)
- Beans (sprouted)
- Dried fruit
Remember the food must be raw. This does not mean however that it is not softened. Raw foodists believe if you heat food above 116 degrees you will destroy valuable enzymes that are critical for digestion and even absorption. This in turn may destroy important energy offered by the food, what some call the food's primal energy or life force.
Health Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
Much like humans have a life force so too does food so say the raw foodists, and they may be right based on their health and wellness. A raw food diet consists of 75% or more raw foods.
Some of the health benefits of a raw food diet include:
- Greater regularity
- Decreased constipation
- High fiber
- Improved digestion
- Less bloating and edema (water retention)
- Improved skin and less acne
- Increased energy and better sleep
- Weight loss for many
- Improved cardiovascular health or decreased risk for heart disease from cholesterol and related problems
There is very little saturated fat in the raw food diet and much in the way of vitamins and minerals that are hard to find in traditional diets packed with processed ingredients and trans fats.
Who Can Enjoy a Raw Food Diet?
Most people will benefit from a raw food diet. It promotes greater regularity and better health. If just starting a raw food diet most people will experience some withdrawal symptoms especially if they consumed a lot of sugar in their previous diet or caffeine.
There are some people that should consult with a doctor before considering a raw food diet because it may not be appropriate even if it does promote greater regularity. These include:
- Very young children, as they may need supplemental food to ensure proper growth and protein.
- Women that are pregnant and nursing, as they may require more iron and protein, although a raw foods diet can be supplemented with plenty of foods that when combined provide complete proteins.
- People with chronic illnesses especially those that affect the blood.
- People that have problems with bone density, although a doctor may clear them to participate in a raw food diet.
Remember these categories do not necessarily exclude you from a diet; you may simply need to consult with a doctor and nutritionist prior to starting. Among the especially delicious treats associated with the raw foods diet include carob and coconut milk!
By TTS Cofounder Botanical Chef Omid Jaffari