September/October 2005 Alternative Health
Nature Always Right, Cooks Never
by Tonya Zavasta
Researchers are excited whenever they discover new benefits in produce
of particular colors. The bright vibrant colors of fresh produce, such
as the deep green of leafy vegetables, the lilac of blueberries, or
the red of strawberries are a sign that this produce is packed with
antioxidants, called polyphenols.
The brighter the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrient
combatants it has to prevent degenerative diseases. Now picture what
happens to the original rainbow of colors after cooking. The colors
fade like old laundry. How can it not be more obvious to us: by tampering
with natural products, we are losing something essential for our health
In this country, we face unprecedented temptations. America is preoccupied
with eating like no other country in the world. By giving in to the
skillful seductions of the advertisers to try "new food,"
our bodies are starving while we constantly chew and swallow. Ironically,
the variety and affordability of foodstuffs leads us to become overfed
and at the same time undernourished. The best way to resist these temptations
is to develop an attitude towards cooked food in general and adopt the
raw food lifestyle.
Mark Twain wrote: "To eat is human, to digest divine." We
need enzymes to digest food. Our living body also needs enzymes for
every other operation and chemical reaction to take place. Only living
organisms can produce enzymes, but their capacity to make enzymes is
limited and exhaustible.
Our body hosts two types of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, which run our
bodies, and digestive enzymes, which participate in digesting our food.
Only raw foods follow natures design and come with their own food
enzymes to aid digestion. They are responsible for the release of nutrients
out of the foods we eat.
Dr. Edward Howell writes in his remarkable book Enzyme Nutrition
that heat over 118║ F kills enzymes. If food is cooked, it does not
bring enzymes, and the body is forced to use up its own digestive enzymes.
Enzymes are biochemical catalysts for metabolic reactions to take place.
While performing their duties, they are consumed, altered, or destroyed.
The body must continually manufacture them. The liver is our primary
manufacturer of enzymes, and when it has to work overtime it becomes
enlarged. The same happens to the pancreas when it is forced to process
extra enzymes. Dr. Edward Howell noticed that the size and weight of
the pancreas increases on a diet lacking adequate enzymes.
From an enzymatic approach, a picked up fruit or a cut off green is
still alive, even though its own source of nourishment has been cut
off. Seeds and nuts will reproduce if put into the soil, fruits will
continue to ripen even after they have been picked from the tree, a
carrot, onion, or potato, when put into the ground, will sprout.
Enzymes are combinations of proteins, vitamins, and minerals in an
active molecular form. Chemists are able to synthesize some of these
nutrients, but they have not been able to "breathe life" into
them. The "life factor" has never been and probably never
will be re-created.
Enzymes are very particular. They cannot tolerate heat, microwave irradiation,
or pasteurization. Cooking always removes or spoils the goodness of
food. Cooked food points down to the grave, because it is dead.
Humans on average as a race, die at or below half their potential life
span of chronic illness that is largely diet and lifestyle related.
"You won't be surprised that diseases are innumerable--count the
cooks." -- Seneca (4 BC-AD 65), Epistles. Cooking is the most profound
abuse of food. The talent of the cook should be applied elsewhere, because
the basic fruits and vegetables he begins with are nutritionally superior
to the most sophisticated creations he ends up with.
By cooking our food, we are killing nutrients that keep us alive and
healthy. After we grill or roast, bake or boil, sautÚ or stew, we produce
some decadent matter with no nutritional value and only by using salt
or sugar abundantly can we get it to pass our taste buds. All cooks
rely on salt, sugar, and spices to have their creations appreciated.
Cooking without spices smells awful. Not surprisingly, spices were originally
used to disguise decaying and decomposing food.
How delicious is a fresh apple! But we put it in an oven and it becomes
a squashy, mushy, shriveled mass requiring a load of sugar so one can
eat it. In cooking, the original colors of fruits and vegetables are
dulled and the initial variety of flavors is altered. Make no mistake,
the nutritional value is gone as well.
It is ironic, but not incidental, that fresh produce is used for decoration
of this bland and dead food. We decorate this lifeless, tasteless, and
shapeless mess with fresh green leaves and bright colored veggies to
deceive our eyes. We add spices to disguise the smell. We load it with
sugar and salt to cheat our taste buds.
Nowadays, health-conscious people know processed food is devoid of
nutrients and try their best to avoid it. But somehow, home cooking
escapes the stigma of "processed." Cooking is processing!
And the difference between home cooking and manufactured foodstuffs
is the same difference as between "dead" and "very dead."
We hear everywhere the less food is processed, the better. Why process
it at all?
Most Americans do not eat the 5-9 recommended servings of fruit and
vegetables each and every day. And if you havent heard yet
January 2005 these government recommended allotments have been increased
to 9-13 serving. Between the lines government is telling us in order
to be healthy we need to go on the raw food diet. Since if you eat 13
servings of fresh fruit and vegetables you will not need or want anything
Raw lifestyle expert Tonya Zavasta is the author of "Beautiful
On Raw: UnCooked Creations" and "Your Right to Be Beautiful:
How to Halt the Train of Aging and Meet the Most Beautiful You"
from which this article was excerpted. For more information on how to
reveal your Rawsome beauty, visit her web-site at: www.beautifulonraw.com;
write to: BR Publishing, PO Box 623, Cordova, TN 38088-0623, USA or