Raw Science – What is it?

Raw science is a blog dedicated to digging up the scientific evidence to support a raw food diet for various health reasons.

It is often cited anecdotally that a raw food diet benefits one’s health, but what do the studies say about it?

Of course it is early days in understanding the raw food diet.  Many of the studies that have been done have been on subjects following various versions of the raw food diet.  But there is beginning to be more evidence in favor of eating a raw or partially raw diet to improve health.

So let’s start with what happens when you put a random group of people who have hypertension and some being overweight, on a raw diet.  A study from the Southern Medical Journal did just that!

Thirty-two patients were placed on a raw diet for a mean duration of over 6 months.  The patients managed to increase their percentage of raw food to an average of 62% of their calories.  Not only did they lose a mean average of 3.8 kg of weight, but their blood pressure also was reduced by a mean of 17.8 mm Hg!

But that’s not all…as a side effect, the group also noticed an 80% cessation in smoking and alcohol consumption in those who previously did so!

There’s definitely something to raw food that goes above and beyond what a regular diet can do.  We all know that doctors and health professionals have recommended for decades to increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables.  But does it matter if they are raw?

A 2004 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention looked at their effect on the prevention of cancer and concluded that:

“Both raw and cooked vegetable consumption are inversely related to epithelial cancers, particularly those of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and possibly breast cancer; however, these relationships may be stronger for raw vegetables than cooked vegetables.”

Furthermore they found that :”Nine of the 11 studies of raw and cooked vegetables showed statistically significant inverse relationships of these cancers with raw vegetables, but only 4 with cooked vegetables.”

They explained this phenomena by saying that this could be due to changes in availability of some nutrients, destruction of digestive enzymes, and also the alteration of the structure and digestibility of food.  These are certainly areas that are perhaps best for another, more thorough future blog post.  However, this study is a huge step in the direction of discovering what raw food has to offer!

There certainly will be more evidence surfacing in favor of raw foods for healing.  Follow me on this blog to find out more as we uncover the Raw Science of food.

 

References:

Douglass et. al. Effects of a raw food diet on hypertension and obesity. Southern Medical Journal

Link, L and Potter, J. Raw versus cooked vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. September 2004.  Volume 13, Issue 9.  Found at: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/13/9/1422.short

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