Summer is upon us and this is a time many people start to see a shift in their diets. There are a ton of vegetables and fruits coming into season, which means vibrant colors and rich flavors. I notice that I naturally gravitate towards more raw foods – salads, fruits, blended soups.
This is also the time that I get a lot of questions like “Should I go raw?” and “Is cooked food bad?” I love this question because it speaks to the thing I believe most about nutrition – it depends on your body.
The pros for both are this:
• Raw – enzymes are alive and available which makes digestion easier. Raw foods are hydrating for the body and the flavors excite the palate. Those who eat raw say they feel lighter in their bodies, mentally clearer, experience glowing skin and improved health.
• Cooked – The cell walls of the food are broken down which makes the absorption of the vitamins and minerals easier. Cooked foods are comforting and soothing to the body. Those who eat cooked say that they feel satisfied, grounded and strong.
Like every diet, there are advocates for both. I can see the benefits and the drawbacks of each diet – in myself and my clients.
So what should you do? You might consider trying each out for a period of time. Then assess – what about each diet did you like? What reactions did you notice in your body? Your hunger and energy levels? Your body is sending messages to you all the time about the food you are eating and the way you are caring for it.
When it comes to adhering to one way of eating, I tell my clients this – if you are facing a major medical concern and this diet addresses/cures that concern then you should do it, and be strict. But if you are looking for good health, then balance is usually the best option. Get the benefits of both by having some cooked and some raw in your diet
And consider the seasons! When it is summer and fresh raw foods are abundant, light and refreshing, then get out the salad bowl. When it is winter and warm stews and soups sound comforting, then get out the crockpot.
Above all, you cannot go wrong if you follow the intuition of your body.