By: Tamara Jacobi
As the summer approaches you might naturally be shifting your diet towards more raw foods: salads, raw fruits and veggies, smoothies, etc. Summer is a great time to consider the benefits of raw foods in your diet. I think you may also enjoy that raw foods will do wonders for keeping your body cool as a cucumber!
Here are some of the top reasons to consider integrating more raw foods into your diet. In the summer months, a good goal is to try to shoot for 50% of the foods on your plate each meal to be raw. I think you’ll find this actually a fairly reasonable (and tasty!) goal. Don’t worry, I’m not going to encourage you to be a raw food extremist, but I do highly recommend that you consider focusing on raw fruits and veggies in the summertime.
1) Basic Nutrition. There is a lot of evidence that shows that the simple act of cooking fruits and veggies changes the nutritional value of the food. After a temperature of 130 degrees F many vitamins (such as Vitamin A, D, E and K) are destroyed. Unfortunately, boiling point is 212 F, so we may be losing some valuable nutrition here.
2) Raw foods have lots of wonderful enzymes! Enzymes help us digest our food. Particularly as we age, enzymes are crucial for the digestive process. Specifically, they are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. Raw vegetables and fruits are particularly rich sources of enzymes. However, enzymes have a very specific 3-dimensional structure. Once they are heated much above 118 degrees, this structure often changes. When you’re eating cooked veggies you’re no longer benefiting from the valuable enzymes that they may have provided in their raw form.
3) Increased energy. Due to the living enzymes in raw foods, many people find that they experience higher energy levels when they’re consuming raw foods. The nutrients and enzymes are more easily digested and more easily assimilated into the bodies. Rather than getting fatigued from breaking down hard to digest foods, raw foods deliver your body energy that is much more available to your body.
4) Flavor! Some find that raw foods often have a fuller flavor than cooked foods. In its raw form a food often offers a stronger, more vibrant, flavor, requiring fewer additives such as salt, oils and sweeteners. When you steam or boil veggies (beets especially!) you can probably see the minerals being leached out into the water that you drain into the sink. As you lose these valuable nutrients, your loosing a lot of flavor as well.
5) Cool for the summer. In the summer months you may find your body craving more raw foods. This is a natural reaction to the increased temperatures and is your body’s way of supporting its self with keeping cool.
Want to boost your energy for the summertime! Join me for my 30 Day Nourishment Challenge: Nutritional SECRETS Revealed! This 4 week series of audio-classes is going to give every cell in your body a blast of nutrition that will boost your energy so that you can do all the things that you love!
Ready to get started with adding more raw foods into your diet? Try out this great recipe!
Basil, Lime, Avocado Soup
1 lime (to juice)
3 cups coconut water ( or 1.5 cups coconut water and 1.5 cups filtered water)
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or ground chili flakes
1 small handful of basil leaves
1 large avocado or 2 small
Blend all the soup ingredients together in a blender until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Tamara Jacobi, Certified Health Coach
Tamara Jacobi is a certified health and nutrition coach who received her training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is the founder of Jungle Girl Health, www.junglegirlhealth.com, offering health coaching over the phone to individuals who are ready to feel and look their best. By using whole foods for healing and lifestyle balancing techniques, Tamara helps people understand how to heal and nourish their bodies completely.
Tamara leads an adventurous and active lifestyle, dividing her time between the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the Mexican Pacific coastline. In Mexico, she is the owner and manager of the Tailwind jungle lodge, a certified sustainable jungle lodge and adventure tour company just north of Puerto Vallarta, www.tailwindjunglelodge.com. Tamara also guides adventure tours for the Tailwind jungle lodge including sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and hiking. In her free time she spends as much time as possible playing outside. She is a passionate skier, road biker, trail runner and stand up paddle boarder.