If you’re a health enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of the raw food diet. Raw foodists eschew cooked food for fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds. Many who follow the raw food lifestyle are also vegan, but some choose to include unpasteurized milk and certain types of raw meat.
So what’s the idea behind only consuming raw food? What are the advantages of following a raw food diet? Are there disadvantages?
The Roots of Raw Foodism
Way back in the late 19th century, a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner discovered that when he ate raw apples, his jaundice subsided. This got him wondering what other benefits there might be to consuming raw food. As the head of a sanatorium, he was in an ideal position to explore the benefits of such a diet. To his patients, he prescribed a strict raw food diet, plenty of rest, and physical activity. Word of the efficacy of his treatments spread, and he soon counted captains of industry, renowned artists, and members of the ruling elite.
While excess body weight may be the most visible symptom of the obesity crisis, fatty liver disease and obesity go hand in hand. So what is fatty liver disease? What causes it, and what are its effects? And most importantly, how can it be treated, or prevented from developing in the first place?
Sodium is a naturally-occurring mineral present in much of the food that we eat. Our bodies need sodium to help regulate blood pressure, maintain nerve function, balance mineral levels, and remove excess fluid from the bloodstream.
The problem is that most of our diets contain way too much of the stuff. We only need between 1,200-1,500mg of sodium per day, but the average American takes in nearly three times that amount. Excess sodium can contribute to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, increased stroke risk, stomach cancer, kidney disease, and osteoporosis.
And if those weren’t bad enough, it also causes the body to retain excess water, which can make you bloated and puffy. Yikes! Thankfully, there are some pretty easy ways to cut down on your sodium intake and curb your salt addiction.
Dr. Andrew Weil recently published Guide to Healthy Eating Part 2, which addresses what the ideal food pyramid should look like, as well as the top 19 foods to be consumed for optimal health. Check out this video of Dr. Andrew Weil speaking to Larry King about diet and nutrition:
Naturally, we all want to be healthier. And when we’re walking the aisles at our local supermarkets, there is no shortage of products that purport to help us do just that. But, do all of them really deliver?
The answer to that question is a resounding “no.” While there are plenty of healthful options out there, there are an unfortunate number of so-called “health food” products that simply fail to deliver on their promises. So, what are they, and why aren’t they all they’re cracked up to be?