So raw food is bad for us now?
I have been seeing far too many articles cropping up lately explaining how it turns out raw food is actually bad for our health.
You may know by now that I absolutely love my raw food, so of course I want to defend it.
** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.
But is there any truth in these claims that raw food is actually bad for us?
Myth number 1: Raw food is bad for your thyroid
I found the following statement on Mind Body Green:
‘Many vegetables in the cruciferous family such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens and brussel sprouts contain what are known as goitrogens. Goitrogens are naturally occurring compounds in some foods that may block thyroid function and can eventually lead to goiter and hypothyroidism. For people with an already weakened thyroid function, or for those who have a propensity to thyroid disorders, goitrogens can worsen the ability of your thyroid to produce important hormones. Goitrogens can be deactivated by heat. So, cooking your vegetables can deactivate a good amount of goitrogens.’
And this is a common question I get asked from people who are worried about their thyroid.
It turns out that the problem was blown out of proportion by people who spent all day long juicing large amounts of kale and broccoli. This can actually have a negative effect on your thyroid if you consume the juice of these cruciferous vegetables in very large amounts.
So yes there is actually some truth in this.
I don’t believe it is good for us to juice these particular vegetables in very large amounts and drink nothing but broccoli juice all day long.
Because it’s not natural for our bodies.
What is natural is to eat realistic portion sizes, and if you stick to eating an amount you would actually eat by chewing it, then juicing it or blending it should be fine for most people.
* But if you do have a medical problem then please check with your doctor before changing your diet. This is not meant to be advice for those with medical problems, just advice for the average person who is trying to get healthier.
That’s why I only put quantities of leafy greens in my smoothies that I would actually eat in a salad.
Before I throw anything in my smoothie I ask myself the question…
‘Would I eat this raw by itself?’
If the answer is yes – I throw it in my smoothie.
And if the answer is no, I may choose to cook it and eat it that way.
So I do add leafy greens to my Green Thickies. But I don’t tend to add those kind of ingredients that you would only cook.
I prefer my cauliflower lightly steamed or made into a creamy mash. I don’t actually like it in my smoothie – so I don’t put it in there.
So – yes there is some truth in this, and this is the rule that I stick to with the majority of my smoothies.
Myth number 2: Raw food is bad for your digestion
If you eat a lot of foods that tend to be cooked like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and brussell sprouts, then yes I agree – these can be much harder to digest when you eat them raw. If the food is difficult to eat raw then it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t be eating it raw.
But this is very extremist thinking.
Why rule out ALL raw foods just because we should avoid SOME foods in their raw state?
Why rule out fruit, and salad veg just because it’s difficult to digest raw brussel sprouts?
It makes no sense to me.
Does it make sense to you?
My line of thinking is – some raw food is great for your digestion and improves your digestion. But if you try and eat everything raw, it’s not such a good idea.
Myth number 3: Raw food makes it impossible to absorb the nutrients
So if you’re eating raw foods that are difficult to digest such as cauliflower and brussel sprouts, this does make it harder to absorb the nutrients. But, as mentioned above, I don’t recommend eating these foods raw, so if you eat foods that are easy to digest, then you shouldn’t have any trouble absorbing the nutrients.
So the moral of the story is….
Eat foods raw that are supposed to be eaten raw, and cook foods that are supposed to be cooked.
Pretty simple when you put it like that?
This is exactly the logic behind the meal plans in The Lean Green Smoothie Challenge. They contain an abundance of raw food, but only food that is actually supposed to be eaten raw.
If you agree with my logic, why not join the FREE challenge.
Have a healthy day
Katherine ‘sensibly raw’ Kyle
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