You are what you eat, right? Well, of course the foods that you consume have a very strong bearing on not only your overall physical health, but also your emotional and psychological health. The main connection lies in how your body is able to process the foods you choose to eat, some make you body work overtime and some can be processed easily and efficiently. Whatever you choose to consume – processed, cooked, or raw foods – it shows not only in your physical comfort level and wellness, but also in your overall moods.
In today's culture, there are so many chronic illnesses and conditions that purport almost everyone's lives. It could be that you have digestion issues, constipation, mild insomnia, migraines, etc. For the most part, we treat these conditions as just accepted parts of our physical makeup, inherited through genes and possibly lifestyle, and don't spend another moment of hesitation on the possibility of being able to change it. We never consider that our diets could be causing the physical distress we feel each and every day, and that by altering or modifying the way we eat and what we eat, we can reverse our physical states of malaise and feel well, conditions soothed and possibly eradicated.
This is one of the common consequences people find when they have decided to invest in a raw food diet. Once they start basing at least 60% of their food intake on organic unmodified vegetables and fruits etc, they feel overwhelming. This is because raw foods, before being cooked, are full of necessary enzymes that our bodies need for proper, efficient digestion and delivering of nutrients to our body's needs and stores. If we neglect eating a well balanced raw food diet, we lose out on all these vital nutrients and enzymes, and our bodies consequently, suffer digestion issues, which hinder growth, proper elimination of waste, and overall wellbeing. Our bodies are then less likely to be able to handle disease and hold onto poisons which contribute to all the misdiagnosed chronic health concerns and more listed above. Instead, most people struggle their whole lives with these mild and serious afflictions, and never change a thing about their diet-when using a raw foods diet could've changed it all.
For clarification, let's take a closer look at the types of common conditions that most of us struggle with at some point in our lives, and how and why eating a raw foods diet can modify or eliminate altogether them.
Emotions – Mood Swings
Ever wondered why sometimes you seem to range from hot to cold, angry to sad, all for no apparent reason? Many will hang their hats on the cause of mood swings just being hormones without any kind of further discussion into why your hormones could be causing such violent swings of mood. The real and specific reason is blood sugar.
The average person, one who does not have a diabetic condition, should have a stable blood sugar. Your blood sugar is the direct connection between what you eat and how it is processed for proper metabolism. When you eat a food high in refined sugar – junk foods, processed foods, table sugar, etc – your blood sugar quickly elevates and your mood is characterized by stimulation which can make you feel wired and jittery. Unfortunately, almost as soon as you get this sugar high, your blood sugar plummets leaving you feel tired, anxious, and generally unwell. The more sugars of this kind that you add to your diet, the more ups and downs your blood sugar experiences, and the more mood swings you in turn experience. Immediate mood swings is the short term effect of supplying your daily diet with refined sugars. The long term of eating a lot of sugars is that your blood sugar surges every time you introduce refined sugar into your system. As soon as you crash from your high sugar, your blood sugar plummeting, your body feels like it needs to produce more and more insulin to regulate your blood sugar. This cyclical function continues again and again until your body becomes more and more resistant to insulin, which can, in many cases, cause different stages of chronic, serious conditions such as diabetes.
Emotions – Stress
Closely tied to your blood sugar's response to a diet of refined sugars and processed foods is one of the most common chronic afflictions to affect our country today – stress. Regular and chronic stress can lead to a whole host of health conditions, such as obesity, heart conditions, and stroke.
A diet high in sugars, processed foods, etc can contribute to a person's stress in that not only is your blood sugar raising and dropping your feeling of wellness, but by depriving your body of the nutrients inherent in raw foods, you are weakening your immune system. This, in turn, puts a great deal of unnecessary biochemical stress upon your body, and you feel less equipped to deal with common stressors and less calm.
Emotions – Depression
Though studies are somewhat inconclusive when it comes to the cause of chronic depression, strong links have been made between certain kinds of foods and renewed feelings of wellness. Whether depression is a sign of foods, situational, or genetic, eating raw foods to balance your body's moods and physical wellness certainly helps. Phenylalanine is one of your body's natural antidepressant amino acids. You may be lacking this if you experience chronic depression. There are a number of foods rich in this same amino acid that have been shown to boost overall feelings of depression once added to the diet. These include almonds, spinach, tomatoes, apples, carrots, bananas, etc. These are all raw foods.
Another common issue in today's society is mild to chronic sleeplessness and anxiety-induced irritability. Again a diet ingrained in refined sugars and processed and altered foods only serves the body to disrupt proper function. This, in turn, can lead to irritability and insomnia or at least contribute to it. Studies have shown that introducing more foods such as whole grains, fruits, and green leafy vegetables alleviate these conditions. Again, these foods are all signature of a raw food diet.
By TTS Cofounder Botanical Chef Omid Jaffari