Wellness: The Benefits of Raw Food, by Ella Isakov

There is a growing trend of people making a conscious effort to implement raw food into their diets. With greater awareness of the benefits of going gluten-free, reducing processed food consumption and moving towards a more natural sugar source, it is no wonder that raw food is becoming so popular in homes.

There is no shortage of resources to ensure there is variety and abundance of flavor in food prepared, whether juices or whole foods. This includes scrumptious raw desserts!

A raw food diet consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, and beans that have not been heated above 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit.Β Here are five reasons why you could benefit from integrating more raw food into your diet:

* A raw food diet can help reduce common digestion problems like indigestion, heartburn, and stomach irritation. The cooking process strips foods of their natural fiber, water, and mineral content making your digestive system work harder to digest food. The less your digestive system has to work, the more energy you will have!

* A healthy weight or loss of weight is maintained on a raw food diet, while making sure you get all the essential nutrients and minerals your body needs.

* Let your natural beauty shine through. Switching to raw food can improve the overall appearance of your skin. While what you eat does not always determine how your skin looks, a healthy inside often produces a healthy outside. The raw food diet is rich in water-rich fruits and vegetables, which helps to keep the skin hydrated, and hydration is the key element in maintaining healthy skin.

* You will think more clearly. Many people who switch to a raw food diet notice that they have more mental clarity and are more effective in dealing with day-to-day problems because whole foods provide your body with all of the nutrients and vitamins it needs without the high amounts of fat, processed sugar, hormones, and additives found in regular processed foods.

* The most important reason to go rawΒ is for your health! A raw food diet has shown to help people dealing with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more. A raw food diet is an alkaline diet which facilitates an uptake and utilization of nutrients and oxygen from the blood, the release of waste products from the cells, and other processes on the cellular level. Plant based foods contain enzymes that release nutrients to allow for the chemical reactions that enable you to do everything from digest and metabolize your foods to regulating hormone production. Enzymes are only present in raw living foods (like sprouts), as cooking destroys them.

In short, raw foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that provide additional support to vitamins and act as catalysts for the proper functioning of cells, strengthening the immune system and slowing the aging process. You can start gradually and begin by including some raw food and fresh juices in your diet. You will notice a shift in how you look and feel even if one meal a day is raw.

Ella Isakov is available for private consultations and holds raw food and yoga weekend retreats several times a year. To find out more check out www.yoginipath.com

Ella is an inspiring humanitarian, yoga instructor, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, and a certified raw food chef in Toronto. She was in the education and fitness industry when she found Ashtanga yoga in 2005, and shifted careers in 2009. She has always led a health-conscious life, but upon discovering a health concern in her own life, she did the research and began to make necessary changes that included juicing, raw food, and incorporating superfoods, seeing the healing powers of whole foods. Ella established Prana Retreats to share her knowledge of raw food by holding raw food yoga retreats, with a dream to hold retreats that cater to individual health needs.
Ella believes her yoga journey started long before she did her first downward dog, bringing a global perspective and life experiences into all her endeavours. Her passion and purpose has always been to inspire others along their path towards a holistic lifestyle. As a yogini and former school teacher, she foundedΒ Stellar Kids Yoga, bringing yoga to more schools and homes, with the goal to reach communities where kids’ yoga is not easily accessible and to provide retreats for children, families and teens.