A recent study published by JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that there is some evidence indicating that those who follow a vegetarian diet have reduced mortality rates.
Researchers studied a variety of vegetarian types including non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (includes seafood), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy and egg products) and vegan (excludes all animal products).
A longer, healthier life was credited to all types of vegetarians with a 12 percent lower mortality rate as compared to non-vegetarians. So, what does this mean to you?
Going all-vegan is not necessary, and may not even be optimal for most people; however, the emphasis in a healthy diet should be on raw, fresh, whole foods. A good rule of thumb is to include 80% raw vegetables and fruits and just 20% cooked foods in your daily diet. When you do eat meat, focus on lean, healthy proteins such as wild-caught salmon, organic grass-fed beef or free-range chicken.
Raw Food Benefit
Raw foods are good for you for a number of reasons, including the fact that they are packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Another important factor is that raw food, sometimes referred to as live or living food, has not been cooked or exposed to temperatures over 118 degrees, which destroys or deactivates natural enzymes.
Enzymes are essential for all of the chemical processes in the body, especially digestion. Consider that nutrients are chemicals in that when those chemicals are heated it causes a chemical reaction – the higher the heat, the more damaging the chemical reaction is.
Heating food above 118 degrees creates acidic toxins including carcinogens and free-radicals that are associated with just about every disease and chronic illness including cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. Cooking also destroys the live enzymes necessary for optimal digestion and overall health.
The late Dr. Edward Howell, the author of Enzyme Nutrition, spent his entire professional life studying enzymes and conducting extensive clinical and laboratory research. He is considered a pioneer in the raw food movement. His theory was that if you don’t get enough enzymes from the food you eat, your digestive system is placed under a great burden and is forced to produce enough enzymes of its own to accomplish its task.
If the body is constantly overstimulated to produce enzymes, that should be provided for it through live foods, it does not function properly, and nutrient deficiencies occur. It also often leads to chronic illness, a weakened immune system and a shortened lifespan.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to go 100 percent raw to achieve optimal health, but transitioning to an 80/20 diet may be your best road to a higher quality, lengthier life.
-The Alternative Daily