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Is This Type of Diet a Virtual Fountain of Youth?
There are so many diets in this world that it’s hard to know what to do anymore. Something as simple as eating has suddenly become so complicated. There’s the gluten free diet, the low carb diet, the Paleo diet, and the list goes on and on, each one claiming that they are the perfect answer, each one saying that their diet is the perfect one designed to give you the best possible health and make you live longer.
Perhaps you’ve seen that picture making the rounds on social media sites that show what appears to be a young weightlifters body with the face of someone who is obviously no longer a spring chicken. They look incredible, too good to be true, so you might have dismissed it as “Photoshop.” While we can’t vouch for the authenticity of those photos, what if we told you that we do know of a diet that keeps you looking and feeling 20 to 30 years younger than your actual age? You might want to call it the “fountain of youth” diet, but most people call it the raw vegan diet.
Other than the obvious name, what exactly is a raw vegan diet? What this really means is eating organic fruits and vegetables, raw, at temperatures that are lower than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s believed that when foods are cooked at temperatures higher than this, most of the nutritional density is destroyed. This means that you are eating foods in their most pure and natural state, which will give your body a higher level of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are known to fight disease.
This type of diet means that you are eating a truly fresh, organic, naturally alkaline diet. Since cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment, many people believe that eating a raw vegan diet will stop cancer from ever being able to take hold in their body.
You should note that this diet will be a lot more difficult than just picking up a carrot and chewing it. Eating a mostly raw, vegan diet means a great deal of crunching and chewing. Also, some people might find that their digestive systems simply aren’t up to eating this kind of diet, since our colons have been compromised by our steady diet of soft, overcooked, mushy foods. Many people find that this diet is easier if they lightly steam vegetables for a few months until their bodies become accustomed to the high fiber content.
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We realize what it would mean to adopt this type of diet. Flooding your body with tons of nutrients and fiber won’t work for everyone, it’s true. For some, their digestive systems simply can’t deal with it. For others, their lives are so complicated that following this type of diet is next to impossible.
If you would love to follow a raw vegan diet but feel you can’t for whatever reason, you can simply opt to add vegetable juices, often referred to as green juice” to your diet. Adding one juice in the morning and one in the afternoon or evenings would literally flood your body in the same amount of vitamins and minerals, keeping your body in a perpetual alkaline state, without the overload of fiber that your digestive system might have trouble accepting.
Foods that you see listed as being “heart healthy” are ones that are loaded with phytonutirents that prevent and fight damage to our cells from free radicals in the blood. Eating more of the deeply colored fruits and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach can not only prevent heart disease, but ward off early death due to cardiac arrest or stroke.
Want more? Most people remember their parents urging them to eat more vegetables so that they would grow up big and strong. Your parents knew what they were talking about! Eating a diet that is rich in raw vegetables has been shown to have super brain boosting powers. They are also vital sources for energy boosting compounds that will keep your body operating at a healthy metabolic state. After all, didn’t Popeye get his strength after downing that can of spinach?
Plant based diets are known to lower our stress hormone cortisol. Those who eat a raw plant based diet also have lower amounts of anxiety, and are a known factor for the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The vitamin E found in many nuts and seeds, along with the anthocyanins that give many berries and red grapes their colors, all play protective roles when it comes to brain function.
Fruits and vegetables are high in something called carotenoids and flavonoids, two very powerful antioxidants that are only found in plants. These antioxidants remove free radicals from the body and prevent premature aging, clear, supple skin, and stop the progression of age related disease.
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If you want to get the most health bang for your buck, check out this list of the top vegetables you should be eating more of, or making your juice from:
- Dandelion greens
- Chinese cabbage
- Zucchini (non-GMO)
- Chives (the green part of green onions)
- Peppers (Green, red, yellow, or hot)
- Romaine or red leaf lettuce
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Beet greens (again, non GMO beets)
- Bok Choy
You can begin by eating about 1/3 of your food as raw vegetables (or lightly steamed). Keep adding more raw vegetables to your diet, as much as your digestive system will allow. If you find you need to juice or steam most of your vegetables, don’t feel bad. Any vegetable is better than no vegetable or eating a diet full of processed foods, junk foods, sugar, and fast food.
Start slowly and give your body time to adjust. Before you know it, you will start to have more energy, have increased feelings of health and well-being, and one day you will notice how great your skin looks. When the compliments about how good you look and people start asking you what you are doing differently- your hair? Your makeup? Or when friends start asking you if you had a facelift, then you will know that eating a raw vegan diet really is the true fountain of youth.