Raw Food Myths Debunked – The Good and The Bad

There are many rumours and opinions going around regarding raw food. One week alfalfa sprouts are good for you, the next week they’re bad, so-and-so says the 80-10-10 raw food diet is the best, some recommend “raw till 4” and others are fully fruitarian. What’s going on?? If you are new to raw food, all these myths and different advice can seem overwhelming, and I would just like to state my views on it all.

Stop listening to what other people say is “good” or “bad” for you and start listening to your body!!

In short, in my opinion, eating raw food is healthier (for me) than eating cooked food. Why do I think so? Because when I eat 100% raw food, my body is happy, my mood is better, my digestion is incredible and I don’t need to use deodorant and wash my hair as often (yes I realise how weird that sounds, but I’m not the only one who’s noticed that). When I eat cooked food, I put on weight immediately, become constipated, moody and I start to smell!

I started eating raw food because I tried it and my body liked it, not because I listened to some health expert say that raw food is good for you.

So I am promoting raw food because it works for ME. If it works for you, then great, if it doesn’t, then don’t force yourself. But please…do TRY it first with an open mind for at least a month, then judge for yourself.

Does that mean I don’t eat cooked food at all?

Occasionally I do eat cooked food, because I am human after all and get cravings for curries once in a while. What happens next? Most of the time I feel sick and I wonder why I do this to myself. Oh I enjoy it, but my body no longer wants that kind of food.

The problem is, when we eat something (lets use prawns as an example) for too long, even if it’s bad for us, our body stops giving you signs that it’s bad for us, it just turns off the switch and goes numb. When you suddenly decide to stop eating prawns, you cleanse your organism of that substance, and so after a while if you decide to eat them again, you will most likely feel sick.

So what am I trying to tell you?

I’m trying to say, do a raw detox for a week/2 weeks/a month or however long you can take it and allow your body to clean itself. Not only will you feel better, but you will give your system a chance to respond to foods you put into yourself in the right way.

“Ok I will try the detox, but I should’t eat raw mushrooms and potatoes, right?”

Back to point number 1 – stop listening to other people’s advice. They don’t have your body do they? They have  had their own experience, so now you go have yours!

I was told at a young age that you should never ever eat raw mushrooms, and it shocked me when I came to the UK and people ate raw mushrooms like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

Different cultures have different knowledge and opinions on certain foods, and these opinions vary from one individual to another. When I was doing raw food workshops for Russians and had to translate “goji berries”, people almost spat their juice out in shock because that berry is considered highly poisonous in my country. I had to stop translating it after that and just let people try it for themselves.

If you like to eat raw mushrooms and you feel good after doing so (but ONLY if you truly feel well) then go ahead and eat them, it doesn’t matter if your housemate is a doctor and he tells you all the “facts” of why you shouldn’t, if you like it, eat it!

Did you know that at the end of the 19th century, tomatoes were considered poisonous and were avoided for 200 years by most North Europeans? Just think about that, how other’s fears and opinions influence your diet.

“That explains the bad food, but surely what people say is good for you is actually good?”

Again, everyone will have a different reaction to different things. For example, many raw foodies are somewhat obsessed with fermentation. From sauerkraut to fermented cheesecakes, I’ve seen it all. Apparently it helps build up good bacteria and is super awesome for your gut.

In my experience, my gut HATES fermented foods. It gives me awful gas, stomachaches and candida outbreaks immediately, and a lot of people I know react in the same way, even if they don’t notice what caused it right away.

Even certain simple fruits and vegetables are good for some and bad for others. Broccoli is always advertised as having more protein than meat and is a super-duper-green, but guess what, eating broccoli makes several friends of mine fart like there’s no tomorrow. And you know my stance on that, if anything gives you gas, in my opinion, it shouldn’t go in your stomach to begin with.

Expert’s advice on health and nutrition

Please don’t get me wrong, I have good friends who are nutritionists and I highly respect them and their knowledge. They can give you some wonderful information that can help lead you on a healthier path and I am not saying you shouldn’t listen to them at all.

I’m saying that ultimately, it all comes down to you as an individual. No matter how much you think you have studied a subject, there will always be an exception, a person who has a different reaction.

For example, just last week I experienced first hand how modern medicine tries to scare you. My boyfriend got a stye on his eye, which at one point looked really bad so we went to the pharmacy to get a cream for it or something, even though both of us don’t usually do that. The people at the pharmacy freaked out and told us it was too late, that he had to go to the hospital to get it cut out, that it would never go away on its own, blablabla. We regretted going to the pharmacy, came home, and with the help of some aloe vera and a little bit of my grandma’s magic, the stye disappeared within a few days. Would love to show that to the “experts” at the pharmacy!

So by all means, listen, health experts have done lots of research and can certainly help you lose weight or cure an illness, but make sure it’s right for you.

A short history lesson on food

Think about this logically for a second, imagine you lived a million years ago, before fire was invented. You were born in a certain environment, let’s say you were born South East Asia for example. Most of it is very humid and the islands are generous with their supply of tropical fruit.

You ate only what the land provided for you, and only what was seasonal. The food that the Earth produced was made specifically for your body type since you were born there and different fruit bloomed at different times of the year to help nourish you for that particular time. 

If you look into ancient health studies, such as the Ayurveda, just to give a popular example, it says that our bodies change slightly depending on the time of year, month and even throughout the day. In S.E. Asia, during December, there is vast abundance in jackfruit, because whatever is in that fruit, is particularly good for you during that season. It’s kind of like how women need to eat chocolate during their time of the month (haha joking!).

Our ancestors knew that. They didn’t try to cook rice or wheat because they had no way of doing so, perhaps they made straw hats out of them or left the crops alone for animals to eat. Not everything that grows on this Earth is made for man to eat, there are many other animals out there!

“What am I supposed to eat then??”

I would start by testing each food individually. Eat a cabbage and see how you feel. Do you feel good, heavy, gassy, nauseous, itchy or do you get heartburn? After half an hour, try eating a radish etc. Of course you can do the same with a full meal, but then you won’t know what exactly caused the discomfort.

If you have noticed that you feel better by eating cooked broccoli than raw broccoli, then cook it. It doesn’t matter what people say, even if you have announced yourself as a raw foodie, it is no ones business what you eat. 

As much as you can, try to eat season and local food, due to the reasons described in the last point.

Don’t try to please others by eating or doing things that are not in your highest interest. Listen to yourself!


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bernard Johannes Sleijster

    What a great article, thank you so much for writing this!
    ~ Bernard Sleijster

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