We’ve been told since birth to eat our vegetables and yet far too few of us actually do it. Even when we do get around to eating our vegetables it’s only after we’ve cooked out most of the natural nutrients that our body is desperately craving.
Keep in mind, as you proceed, that while all raw vegetables are incredibly beneficial, raw green vegetables actually serve as the basis of nearly all life on this planet. That may sound a bit extreme to you, but stop and consider for a moment that almost every organism on this planet survives by either eating raw green vegetables or by eating an animal that eats raw green vegetables…they really are that important.
I know, you’ve probably eaten most of your vegetables cooked since you can remember. Simply put, just because something has “always” been done a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to do it. You will get a lot more out of your vegetables if you consume them raw.
I specifically used the word “consume” because, in reality, you get the same benefits from raw green vegetable juice as you do from eating them whole and usually you get it faster. This is because raw vegetable juice takes less internal work to digest and is absorbed into the body almost instantly.
It seems that most people only know that they should eat vegetables because they remember mom telling them to; very few people seem to have a grasp on the amazing nutritional value of vegetables.
Raw vegetables are extremely rich in minerals, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes and natural sugars. All of these are things that your body needs to function properly and the raw veggies will help stabilize and normalize your natural bodily functions. They actually help pretty much ALL of your natural bodily functions operate.
You’ve probably heard about the necessity of vitamins and nutrients to your overall health your entire life, but the concept of enzymes may be new to you. Basically, the enzymes in raw vegetables help your body digest food. This is one of the reasons that green vegetables are sometimes considered “nature’s laxative,” because they get your stomach working properly.
The average American diet is actually comprised of quite a few foods that are incredibly difficult for our bodies to digest properly. When we aren’t digesting properly, the food sits in our stomach longer than it should and we miss out on any nutritional value it did possess.
Okay, so at this point, you may have started to become convinced about the necessity of vegetables…but why raw?
All of our cooking methods have been shown in scientific studies to reduce the amount of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in vegetables. Of the cooking methods, steaming has been shown to retain the largest amount of vitamin content although it still reduces it.
Vegetables begin losing their valuable nutritional elements as soon as they are plucked, pulled or picked from the ground. For this reason, the additional loss of nutrients during cooking would be a smaller problem if we grew our own vegetables and cooked them the same day we harvested them.
However, most of us don’t live that way. The largest majority of us purchase our vegetables at the grocery store after they’ve been shipped hundreds or thousands of miles. During that time, the nutritional value has been seeping out of them.
Finally, to make matters worse, repeated studies have shown that commercially grown vegetables, right out of the ground, aren’t as rich in nutrients as they were 50 years ago. One large contributing factor to this is that farmers have found so many ways to make their crops grow faster that we aren’t receiving the full benefit of naturally mature vegetables.
It is admittedly extreme, but not that extreme, to state that any vegetable you get from the grocery store and then cook at home probably has the nutritional value of cardboard by the time it hits your stomach.
Start eating (or drinking) raw vegetables as soon as you can. Whenever possible, grow them yourself or purchase them from local farmer’s markets.