Raw Food – Appliances You Will Need

It seems more and more people are becoming interested in eating raw. While 10 years ago you were considered a freak if you told anyone that you did not cook your food but instead ate only raw food, now it seems quite fashionable to be a ‘rawy’ which is someone who indeed eats mainly or even only raw food.

Although the basics of the diet are quite simple, you do not heat your food above 115 degrees F / 45 degrees C, so that you do not destroy the enzymes in the food; it is quite confusing though when you start reading the recipe suggestions. Terms like food dehydrator, juicer or slicer are common. If you are new to the raw food world; these are appliances you will need if you even consider the change to a raw food diet. Without them it becomes quite difficult to really make the change in your diet.

To be straight forward, if you consider going on the diet you will need the following appliances in order to make life easy and the diet versatile enough to stick to it.

1) A food dehydrator.
Although food dehydration is usually advertised as a way to preserve food, when using it for a raw food diet it allows you to create recipes with ingredients that are too rich in water to otherwise combine. Think of a nut pizza with tomato slices. This bottom will become soaked before you can eat it. Dehydrating food also intensifies the flavors in the food.

When considering which dehydrator to buy there are a few things you need to consider. Make sure you get one where the fan is at the side (often referred to as horizontal air flow). The ones with the fan at the bottom often produce an uneven result. Get one with enough power and a drying area that is large enough because you will use the dehydrator a lot. A thermostat is an absolute requirement but most dehydrators have this. Price, to compare prices divide the total cost by the square drying area.

2) High speed blender.
To properly juice both fruits and vegetables check if the juicer does indeed do both. A lot of juicers that are good for juicing fruit do less of a job when juicing vegetables; this is due to the difference in structure between the two.

Consider the method via which the juicer gets rid of the pulp, does it do this automatically, or do you need to do it manually?

3) Salad shredder – although you can slice all your veggies by hand a salad shredder is something you might want to purchase. Usually they are not too expensive and really helpful.

All You Need to Know About Raw Food Diet

Many of dieters out there are trying this kind of diet. What is it, actually? What are the advantages and disadvantages? How to do it?

Let me help you get all the answers in the following detailed explanations about raw food diet before you decide to apply it:

o What is Raw Food Diet?

Raw food diet is a diet composed mainly or entirely of raw and living foods. These foods include mostly raw vegan food, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

The raw foodists can consume any foods which have not been cooked, frozen, or treated with chemical preservatives.

There are 3 types of raw foodists:

1. Living foodists, who eat a diet made up of plant food in active form, such as sprouted nuts and seeds.
2. Juicarians, who eat a diet made up entirely of juices.
3. Raw foodists who are not vegetarians, and therefore eat raw meats and unpasteurized milk

o How to Start a Raw Food Diet?

Going on a raw food diet can be similar to detoxifying your body, and there can be some side effects. So when considering the raw food diet, you should start slowly, with one or more raw meals per day, and one or more meals with a raw main dish and a small cooked side dish. This can be easier on your body as well as your habits.

o Where to Find the Foods?

The best kind of raw food is organic food. Organic foods are now available in a wide variety of products, not just fruits but even cookies.

While organic foods can be more expensive then regular foods, they can also be more convenient, as there are many companies starting in cities that will actually deliver organic fruits and vegetables to your front door.

o What Are The Advantages?

Many raw foodists choose the diet because they believe that cooking, freezing or otherwise processing foods can destroy vitamins, bacteria, and enzymes. They also believe that cooking food makes food harder to digest, partially due to destroying enzymes which are acting as catalysts in the digestion of food.

Raw foods contain less chemicals and preservatives, which are not natural in foods. Raw food is also less toxic and more easily digested, while containing more vitamins and minerals than processed foods.

The raw foodists also believe that the diet can improve health, lower risk of heart disease (because of a diet low in trans-fats), improve digestion, improve skin appearance, and increase the energy levels.

o What Are The Disadvantages?

An important concern in a raw food diet is the lack of animal proteins. One needs to get all the essential amino acids.

To fulfill all the nutrition and avoid deficiencies in protein and vitamin B12, a raw foodist might need some nutritional supplements.

So, after you find out all you need to know about raw food diet, are you ready to start one now?

Fibromyalgia and Food – Winning the Battle With Balanced Nutrition!

For people suffering with fibromyalgia and rheumatic disorders, studies have shown that a diet consisting of whole foods brings the body back to a state of health and helps improve symptoms dramatically. In addition to the fact that whole foods happen to be antioxidant laden, and antioxidant foods possess anti-inflammatory properties, there are other factors, such as fiber and essential fatty acids found in whole unadulterated foods that function together to increase immunity and improve overall health.

Remember, most fruits and vegetables should be eaten in their entirety, as all of the parts, including the skin, contain valuable nutrients. Eat at least eight to ten servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day. That may sound like a lot but we are talking about one serving is half a cup full and this food source is absolutely vital in helping to win the battle against FM. These plant foods are the basic source of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and Phytonutrients, that help create and preserve health. Nobody can argue with eating fruits and vegetables. It’s the one thing that scientists all agree on to create longevity, energy, and health.

Phytonutrients are the biologically active substances in plants that are responsible for giving them color, flavor, and natural disease resistance. In the last couple of decades scientists have begun to identify that they provide a vital biological function in our bodies as well. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and teas are the richest sources of Phytonutrients.

People whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables live healthier lives because these foods contain thousands of Phytonutrients that interact in ways to prevent certain diseases and boost overall health. Over a hundred phytochemicals have been identified, many having a regulating effect on the immune and endocrine system.

Several studies examining the role of vegetarian or vegan diets (loaded with Phytonutrients) in the treatment of fibromyalgia have reported positive results. The first study addressed the potential role of antioxidants from a vegan diet in fibromyalgia patients and found significant increases in general health and reduced pain and stiffness. Another study, carried out in fibromyalgia patients by the University of Finland, involved researchers examining a raw foods/living foods vegan diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, seeds, sprouts, and nuts which are all foods containing high levels of Phytonutrients.

The results of this study showed that the fibromyalgia patients whose diets had the highest levels of serum carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, alpha carotene, and beta carotene) and flavonoids (quercetin, hesperidin), reported significant improvements in joint stiffness, pain, and general health. Food sources of carotenoids include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, cilantro and fresh thyme. To maximize the availability of the carotenoids in the foods listed above, the foods should be eaten raw or steamed lightly. Sources of flavonoids include: apples, apricots, blueberries, pears, raspberries, strawberries, black beans, cabbage, onions, parsley, pinto beans, and tomatoes.

An earlier study by a University in Oslo, Norway in 1993 placed a group of fibromyalgia patients on a 3-week vegetarian diet and 7 of 10 fibromyalgia patients reported an increase in overall health status in the form of improved well-being and reduced pain. A more recent study (Edwards, Blackburn, Christie, Townsend, et al. 2000), which was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, suggests that the administration of pure Anthocyanidins (80 mg daily) may be beneficial in fibromyalgia patients. Anthocyanidins are Phytonutrients found in berries. Berries are the highest in Anthocyanidins, powerful purple pigment compounds that act as potent antioxidants, and include vitamin C. The berries Anthocyanidins help ease the joints by its antioxidant activity. It also detoxifies tissues and promotes better digestion. The fibromyalgia patients in the active treatment group received an Anthocyanidins formula derived from cranberry, bilberry, and grape seed. The improvements in the group receiving the Anthocyanidins reported specifically a reduction of fatigue and improved sleep.

How Do Phytonutrients Protect Against Disease?

Phytonutrients are being studied intensely as they have so many beneficial effects on the human body including:

• serving as antioxidants
• enhancing immune response
• enhancing cell-to-cell communication
• altering estrogen metabolism
• converting to vitamin A (beta-carotene is metabolized to vitamin A)
• causing cancer cells to die (apoptosis)
• repairing DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures
• detoxifying carcinogens through the activation of the cytochrome P450 and Phase II enzyme systems-which are a function of the liver

It is clear that they play a vital part in the human body’s tissue growth and repair processes and potentially support many more beneficial functions.

Rebuilding your health after a chronic illness diagnosis such as fibromyalgia can be a daunting task. It’s a journey that takes self-awareness, dedication, and a whole lot of determination. But, it can be done! It’s my hope that you take a deeper look at the foods and nutrients you are eating and choose foods that support your optimal health in every way.Taking charge of your health is the first step toward finding wellness.