Nutrition Notes: How to embrace raw food

Eve Kalinik extols the benefits of adding raw food to our diets


Nutrition Notes: How to embrace raw food

Raw food is the ideal antidote to holiday excesses – the nutritional benefits of eating raw are incredible, and these days we just simply don’t have enough uncooked goodness in our diets. But Psychologies’ beauty and wellbeing director, Eminé Ali Rushton, is not a fan, believing it’s too taxing on digestive systems, particularly in winter, so I’ve been trying to convince her!

Raw food is important because it’s bursting with enzymes that are entirely killed off in the heating process, and it’s these enzymes that are needed to break down the food you are eating. Cooking also destroys many of the vitamins and minerals for most foods – anywhere between 30 and 50 per cent – and because heat manipulates the chemical structure of the food, it can take much longer to move through the digestive system.

If you eat the food in its raw ‘live’ state, you’re taking in all those nutrients in their abundance as well as feeding your own cells with food that is full of its own natural energy. Living food really does make for a more energetic, vibrant and focused you.

I’m not saying you should turn to an exclusively raw diet, but I do suggest you try to have something raw every day. A raw side salad with sprouted seeds and seasonal veg is a great start, or try raw, living granola for breakfast (try the Primrose’s Kitchen brand).

It’s also a nice way to start a gentle cleanse in the new year. My one caveat is to make sure that you also have spices, such as chilli, turmeric and cayenne pepper, to get that digestive fire working in the colder months. Also, use plant-based protein sources – such as nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes and spirulina – to ensure the diet is balanced, too.

My raw go-to kit

Excalibur Dehydrator, from £159, easy and no fuss: whack in the veggies, switch on the timer and the result is your very own healthy raw snack!

Vitamix, from £399, is the ultimate blending machine. Make nut milks, smoothies, dairy-free yogurts and much more – I’d be lost without mine.

Kyocera ceramic knives, from £34 – ceramic blades mean a slower rate of oxidation (a process that affects the nutrient content of foods) than you get with steel ones.

Magimix 3200 XL Blender Mix food processor, £239.95 – a real multi-tasker! Neat and compact, it has three bowls for large or small functions.

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Photograph: iStock

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