According to widely read vegan and health-food websites, eating raw is far from being the ‘newest thing’. Think about it this way, long before accessibility to modern cooking appliances, people had to eat regularly. They would typically consume the majority of their foods raw.
In The Evolution Of Diet, National Geographic summarized the history of Raw Food diets in terms of western cultures adapting raw eating practices for philosophical reasons and health benefits. These earliest notions can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In ancient Greece, students that follow Pythagoras, known as the ‘Mathematikoi’, were required to be Vegetarians. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine was one of Pythagoras’ most famous students. He is famous for saying, “Let food be your medicine”. Research has proposed that both Pythagoras and Hippocrates ate raw, vegan diets.
The Modern History of the Raw Foods Movement
The modern history of the raw foods movement really started with the scientific work done in 1930. Dr. Paul Kouchakoff working at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland conducted research on raw food diets. Due to this research and the results, this doctor proved that our body’s “normal” toxic reaction to eating only occurs when cooked food is ingested. Consequently, his findings point to ‘Digestive’ Leukocytosis (an immediate increase in our white blood cell count after eating) does not occur when raw plant foods are consumed. Leukocytosis is the stress response found normally when a dangerous pathogen or trauma invades the body. He showed us that we have no stress response when we eat raw, vegetarian foods. Finally, the Modern History of the Raw Foods Movement becomes more informed by the medical and scientific revolution towards raw foods for health in the 21st Century.
Intrigued yet? Looking to test drive a raw foods diet and see how it goes? Here are a few suggestions of where to gather the information you will need to begin learning more. Ultimately, you may want to pick up a few books and read up on different recommended plans. The top 3 books that appear on Amazon in a search on this topic are:
- “21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox”
- “The Raw Deal: The Real Benefits of Eating Raw for Health and Weight Loss”
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw”
In conclusion, good luck on your new health journey. Also, the ones that you love.