We've all heard the statistics: 2 out of 3 people are overweight, 1 out of 3 people are obese, 2 out of 5 people will develop cancer in their lifetime, 1 out of 2 people will die from heart disease or cancer, and for the first time in recorded history, some people are now projecting that the lifespan of today's children will be less than that of their parents' due of the rise of many chronic diseases and health conditions.
Basic health today generally is the sum of three broad components: what we eat, the toxic burden of our body as a result of the toxins in our environment, and our lifestyle/outlook on life (which includes attitude, exercise, spirituality, etc.). Of these, the easiest to address because we all have to eat is considering our food choices.
When food is cooked, all enzymes, most vitamins and many minerals are destroyed, thus the cooking process removes most of the nutrition from our food before it even reaches our mouth. This fact, along with the rise of big agricultural farming practices which produce more and more food containing less and less nutrition is why so many of our bodies cry for more and more food to make up for the lack of nutrition we get, thus one of the main causes in the rise of obesity.
Eating raw and living foods consists of aligning our bodies back with our natural way of eating. A raw diet consists of fruits, vegetables, live sprouts, sprouted nuts and seeds eaten in their natural (preferably organic) state and prepared foods heated below 112 degrees. 112 degrees is the point where enzymes, the building blocks of life, start to be destroyed by the cooking process.
Some of the many benefits of eating raw include: weight loss with little or no effort, dramatic overall health improvement, huge increase in energy (one of the main reasons being because the raw diet digests so quickly and moves through the body 3 to 4 times quicker than cooked food, much energy is freed up for other needs besides digestion), clear, more vibrant skin, amazing improvements with blood sugar disorders, big benefits relating to healing arthritis, and greater mental clarity and a brighter outlook on life.
In addition, and of great importance, is how the raw diet benefits people suffering from cancer. Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. One of the main benefits of eating raw is we create an alkaline internal environment. The two leading causes of acidifying the body are eating sugar and animal products - thus, our current cancer "epidemic". There are now many raw/living food health retreats that are having astronomically successful cancer cure rates just by putting people on a raw food diet.
In summary, raw vegan food brings our bodies back into balance and allows us to have the health and longevity which is our birthright. As raw consciousness goes mainstream, more and more foods, products, books, restaurants and raw lifestyle choices are coming into being making this an easier and easier transition. And, speaking of transitioning, if it fits your personality or if you have a serious health challenge, jump right in and go 100% raw, if that's what feels right. A more realistic goal might be 80% raw, which is where the phenomenon of the body mounting an immune response in reaction to the cooked food you just ate, ceases and the real "raw magic" begins. Make it all about adding good things in, not about giving anything up.