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raw foods

Raw Foods vs. Cooked Foods

by Marissa on March 7, 2012

I would imagine that if an avocado were to incarnate it would probably look like this.

David Avocado Wolfe

David “Avocado” Wolfe is to IIN students and graduates what Justin Bieber is to teenage girls.

Totally crush-worthy.

And for good reason.

His spirit and enthusiasm about raw superfoods is enough to make you want to forage your own.

His motto: “When you’re green on the inside, you’re clean on the inside.”

Eating raw means that food is not heated above 118 degrees during the cooking process so that all of the nutrients are retained and your bod can have full access to them for glowing skin, tons of energy and weight loss.

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Mega Conference, Wolfe praised raw, or “living,” foods as the best source of:

  • clean and simple controllable, volatile nutrients
  • enzymes
  • detoxification, immune-enhancing and cleansing properties

And then he demonstrated a superfood smoothie


According to Wolfe, the building blocks of a healthy, raw lifestyle are:

  • raw + living foods for vitality
  • superfoods for supplementation
  • superherbs for immunity
  • living spring water for pure hydration

But should you go totally raw?

Some health experts, including Dr. Joel Fuhrman, agree that not all cooked foods are bad.

Also at the IIN Mega Conference, nutrition expert and best-selling author Paul Pitchford explained the difference between a raw foods diet and cooked foods in plain and simple terms:

“Raw foods are for cleansing and cooked foods are for building.”

Your body needs to do both at different times of the year and to meet its various needs under different conditions. If you’re trying to fight disease like cancer or detoxing your system in the spring, raw foods are most beneficial.

Some nutrients, like the phyto-nutrients lycopene and lutein and carotenoids like Vitamin A are better absorbed by the body when the food source is cooked.

Also, remember that different cooking techniques make a tremendous difference in the retention of different nutrients in plant foods.

Take broccoli for example. Eating it raw or steaming are two of the best methods for keeping all its green goodness intact and accessible.

Personally, I gravitate to raw foods in the summer and cooked foods in the fall and winter, but rarely all or nothing except if I’m cleansing.

Find the balance that’s right for you, never overcook your food and be sure to incorporate some of those superfoods while you’re at it!

What are your favorite superfoods? Have you ever experimented with a raw foods lifestyle?