Paul: Hi Folks, one little recognized possible reason, among many, for some people not getting results they want over the long term, or hitting a standstill on candida diets, may be a lack of raw food nutrients and enzymes. Studies have shown that cooking of foods above 118° F can cause an elevated white blood cell counts within minutes of ingestion of the food. This is akin to the body’s reaction to a poison.
It sounds crazy, but based on the improvements I’ve had when eliminating cooked vegetables, and discovering that I react to cooked vegetables as well as all breads (but not raw sprouted wheatberries), it makes sense. So a big reason I was able to overcome candidiasis was by eating more and more raw food; also thanks to people on this list suggesting large doses of probiotics. Raw foods with adequate protein also normalized my low thyroid and I no longer need pills for it.
Meat is usually essential on a candida diet, but if the meat is lightly cooked and nearly raw inside it may not pose as much problem. But it is a dilemma since meat does tend to contain parasites. However on the list below we have had many people eating lots of raw meat for years and do very well with it; the biggest drawback actually, I believe, is the social acceptability issue.
A side benefit to not destroying and altering nutrients through cooking of food is less need for supplements. In fact, I now take ‘no’ vitamin or mineral supplements at all anymore (just some herbs and supplement-type foods like spirulina and dulse). In any case you certainly can follow a mostly raw-food diet with little or no fruit, or even all-raw if you get used to the idea of raw meat.
So basically, I’m in opposition to Truss‘ opinion that most or all food should be cooked (even light steaming causes problems for me). It is worth noting too that most of the great natural healers of this century (Bragg, Jensen, Christopher, Gerson) recognized the special value of raw foods, for good reason.
Raw Food List FAQ: http://www.math.jussieu.fr/~tu/raw-food/faq.html
Health and Disease Page: http://people.ne.mediaone.net/preynolds/had_1.htm
Polly: Cooking destroys protein and enzymes, but light cooking will sometimes enhance the availability of vitamins and minerals. Of particular note, the cellulase enzyme in raw foods will help digest yeast. That would be one benefit of raw food. Raw foods do have their place in the diet. Yet, there are times when a person is so far gone that they have to start with all cooked food. I am an example. I would react with migraines to raw vegetables. I had to cook them. Cooking might be important for some people because the sugars in cooked vegetables are easier to digest, as explained in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
Aajonus Vondeplanitz, in his book We Want To Live, suggests that people with yeast overgrowth include in their diet some cooked starches, plenty of raw fat, lots of raw vegetables (especially green ones), and some raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. This will alkalinize the body and flush out toxins. He implies that toxins are the cause of the yeast overgrowth.
Rare meat and raw eggs don’t bother me, but I can’t eat raw meat without usually getting very sick from it. Maybe my stomach acid is too low? Perhaps if I would try just the raw organic meat, or freeze the meat for 14 days to kill the parasites, then it might be okay for me? I don’t know. However, for now, I’m not willing to experiment again. I grant you that many people eat raw meat, and that raw organic meat probably has a lot of health benefits. I’ve also heard that a high percentage of people on the caveman diet are eating raw meat and fish, and they are finding it very helpful for many ailments. In fact, I have an Internet friend who couldn’t get her autistic child off antifungals until she finally started feeding her child raw organic game meat.
I know a lot of you are fans of Dr. Mercola. He is an advocate of using raw egg yolks in the diet. However, he is not a big fan of raw egg whites. Raw egg whites interfere with the absorption of biotin. With our intestinal difficulties, we are probably very low on biotin already. Yet, for whatever reason, my doctor had me use the whole raw egg. He had me mix the raw egg in orange juice. (I wonder if the acid in the organe juice helps kill off some of the bacteria?) He also wanted me to find very fresh organic eggs and not refrigerate them. I was not to use them if I had any question about their freshness. (They must smell and look right. Also, no cracked shells. The yolks should be firm.)
Aajonus Vonderplanitz is probably the leading advocate of raw meat, fish, eggs and fat. In his book, he gives examples of some miraculous cures using these foods. One of my doctors suggests that you start with raw salmon from the deeper parts of ocean where there is less mercury. He also told me that you should first have your stomach acid levels correct and you should not have a leaky gut when you try this. You can get food poisoning if you aren’t ready for it. Sally Falon and Dr. Mary Enig suggest that you marinate raw fish in an acidic medium. (More information on raw protein and raw fat diets can be found at http://www.odomnet.com/livefood/ faq.htm.)
Paul: I agree that for many people, it is best to start with some cooked food rather than going from the ‘typical’ diet directly to mostly raw food. Too much raw food too fast usually will often cause or increase problems like excess gas and abdominal pain, but over time the body adjusts.
Using waterless cookware or thermoscookware can lessen nutrient loss and oxidative damage (a catalog available at http://www.juicing.com offers these products). Another option is liquefied raw vegetables, especially for those with dental problems, but this type of preparation is not too appetizing.
2009 update — Polly: I ran across an interview with Dr. Klinghardt on one of the Thriiive videos. He said that it is very harmful to give raw vegetables to someone who has very bad intestinal symptoms. They need overcooked food. Gradually, as they become able to tolerate more raw alkalizing vegetables, their healing will accelerate.
I am not an advocate of raw vegetables being preferable. I am somewhat knowledgeable about nutrition but I think that some common sense can be applied here also. Chewing your food is important since it gets the enzyme process going and raw veggies take a lot more chewing, hence more enzyme activity and better nutrient absorption. I think that smoothies are not so great as people think because raw foods get gulped down with nearly no saliva.
Veggies and other plant forms contain a life force (Prana, Chi, Mana, Orenda) that diminishes shortly after being picked. I think that this is the best reason for eating fresh produce but if it has been on the shelf for 24 hours it probably makes little difference unless you overcook it.
Veggies may be overrated in some respects. Eskimos eat no veggies and their diet is only meat and fat. Heart attacks and cancer are almost non-existent in traditional Eskimo life. Something to think about.