Raw Food Benefit: Improved Digestion and Elimination


Poor digestion and elimination seem to be a national epidemic, at least if you watch television commercials. Various over the counter and prescription preparations promise to alleviate heartburn (while allowing sufferers to apparently continue to gorge on unhealthy foods), eliminate gas and bloating, and restore regular elimination. If the nation isn’t constipated it’s suffering from various other ills. If you were an alien viewing life on Earth from the safety of Mars, you’d wonder why we’re stuffing ourselves with food while simultaneously finding it hard to digest it.

The reason, to those who have found the raw food movement, is simple.  Americans continue to dig their own graves with knifes and forks, then shell out plenty of money to counter the ill effects of gluttony and inharmonious eating. Raw and living foods offer the promise of alleviating all sorts of digestive woes. One of the most important benefits of raw and living foods is improved digestion and elimination.

Better Digestion through Enzymes

Enzymes are catalysts, changing the rate at which chemicals react. The body releases dozens of enzymes that help digest protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as handle various metabolic tasks. We’re born with a plentiful supply of enzymes, and raw and living foods contain abundant enzymes to help digest the food. Dead, cooked food, on the other hand, depletes our enzyme stores. The body must draw from its own enzymes in order to process such foods, further depleting its enzyme stores.

In the book Raw People: A Complete Guide to the Raw Food Life, the authors state that “Because of the high enzyme count, raw food digests easily and passes through the digestive tract in less than half the time it takes for cooked food.” (page 39).  Many people report less gas, bloating and acid indigestion too after eating raw foods.

Since raw foods pass more rapidly through the digestive system, that awful bloated, overstuffed feeling is gone. Many of the foods known to contribute to GERD and acid reflux, such as coffee, wine, white sugar and processed chocolate are also eliminated on a raw food diet, which may improve GERD symptoms too.

Improved Elimination

Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome are just two symptoms of the same problem; an intestine that’s not functioning properly. You should have at least one bowel movement daily, with two or more optimal, of a good quality (not diarrhea).  The more raw foods you eat, the more fiber you ingest. Raw fruits, vegetables and sprouts are also filled with water, which when combined with fiber, sweeps along the digestive tract and removes indigestible particles and waste products. This regulates bowel habits and contributes to normal bowel function.

If after changing to a raw food diet or increasing your intake of raw foods you still have problems with elimination, you may want to see a physician, naturopathic physician, or a colon hydrotherapist. A medical professional can rule out any underlying health issues, and a naturopathic doctor and colonic expert can advise you on supplements and other interventions such as enemas and colon hydrotherapy to help your body eliminate built up toxins and wastes and function normally again.

Let’s Hear It for Regularity!

Most everyone reading this has suffered from a stomach virus at one time or another, so even if you feel great now, you can feel sympathy for those suffering from digestive issues. Fortunately, one of the great benefits of eating raw, living foods is a stomach that cooperates and a digestive system that functions as nature intended it to. So  here’s to raw foods and their benefit to digestion and elimination!

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

Written by:  Jeanne Grunert
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