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Top it Up with Raw Food Boosters
The raw food movement in North America can be traced back to the publication of Viktoras Kulinskas’s book Survival into the 21st Century in 1975. Viktoras had long lived the vegan lifestyle and his diet was primarily sourced from fresh, whole, raw foods. His credibility lay in the fact that he was the co-founder of a very successful healing centre, The Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston; established in 1961. The healing approach that he advocated was based on the consumption of raw, “life giving” foods. In writing this book, Mr. Kulinaska brought his vegan and raw lifestyle to the masses, promising vitality and endless health. The raw food movement began. Today, the raw food movement is exploding.
Raw foods are delicious and they are abundant in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and fibre. The food choices are plentiful as the diet is also rich in seeds, grains and beans that are often sprouted to render them more digestible. Sprouting also significantly increases the nutrient value and can double and triple the levels of enzymes, protein, fibre and probiotics while eliminating the anti-nutrients found in these raw foods.
Another trend that is gaining ground is choosing organically grown foods over conventionally produced foods. Over the past ten years the demand for organically grown food has risen exponentially. What was once an option available only to the elite is now readily available at your local grocer. Many independent retailers dedicate their entire store to the sale of organics. This has encouraged more farmers to “go organic” and in doing so has brought the cost down to an affordable level for almost everyone in the community.
Certified Organic designations abide by stringent rules and regulations determined in Canada by federal legislation. The Canadian Organic Standard is the only certification system to receive the broad approval of both the EU and USA and is recognized as their equivalent.
Organic farming production does not allow the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, ionizing radiation or the use of growth hormones for animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Organic farming is sustainable farming. It is designed to protect the soil and land while allowing for the production of food that contains the highest nutrient levels. One of the repercussions of mainstream farming practices is the profound depletion of the soil’s vital nutrients due to the over use of the land as well as the aggressive utilization of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Innovative technologies are allowing food manufacturers the ability to use organic, whole food ingredients to create convenient easy to use packaged food products, while still maintaining the quality and the nutritional value. The latest revolution is in the creation of raw, organic, whole food concentrates that are still enzymatically active and nutrient dense, in part due to low temperature processing.
This next generation of nutritional food powders includes a variety of sprouted seeds (such as chia and flax) as well as superfood concentrates from a variety of dried, whole fruits and vegetables. Due to scientific advancements in food processing technology, methods such as cold-processing, fermentation, sprouting, DHA & EPA ingraining and freeze-drying are being employed to improve the nutritional value and sensory appeal of processed foods.
The increased levels of naturally –occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics that raw, whole foods provide can be found in powdered formats that are easily added. As you sprinkle one of these nutritional powders over your next plate or bowl of indulgence, take pleasure in knowing you can have your cake and nutrition too!
Marva Ward is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and works for Puresource as the National Product Educator for the NOW brand of supplements in Canada.