Raw and living foods

Why eat raw foods when you can have it cooked? This is a perfectly logical question. What then is the difference between cooked and raw food and still again what is this living food? Cooked or raw, if it's fresh isn't it still good for us? Yes to a point. There again it depends on how long it's been cooked and how high the temperature goes in the cooking.

Raw food

Lets first of all find the dividing line between what is considered cooked and what is considered raw. Any food that is cooked above 106 degrees Fahrenheit is considered cooked. Anything below that temperature is considered, to a degree, to be raw. Completely raw food of course is food that has not had heat added at all. 106 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which the enzymes that are in the food are starting to be killed off.

Enzymes are the chemicals that work with vitamins as catalysts to assist with digestion and are responsible for every metabolic process in the body. Life itself doesn't happen without enzymes. If the enzymes within the food have been reduced or killed off then it will be harder to digest than it would if they were there. Without these enzymes our body becomes depleted of these substances leading to many if not most diseases and ailments.

Replenishing the body with bought supplements of enzymes, vitamins and minerals is never quite the same. They lack the inherent 'life force' needed that is in fresh food. Though use of digestive enzymes will have a positive health impact - it is just a more holistic approach to consume sprouted foods long-term. This is why fast food and processed food is even worse, as these foods contain virtually no enzymes, vitamins, minerals or 'life force' at all.

The measurement of 106 degrees Fahrenheit is the internal temperature at which the human body will start to die. It stands to reason then that when you cook food above this temperature it too will start to die. And what dies with it is the mysterious 'life force' that is within every 'living' thing. If we eat food that has 'life' still within it, it will transfer this 'force' to us. If we eat boiled, charred, roasted, deep fried and baked food with few enzymes, vitamins or minerals or 'life force' left then the food becomes a heavy burden on the body and not the energizing fuel it should be. Which is why after a heavy, rich cooked meal we often feel like falling asleep when in fact eating is meant to make us feel energetic not sleepy!

The more 'living' a plant is when we eat it the more transference of enzymes, vitamins and minerals and 'life force' is imparted into our own bodies to utilize as energy and renewal of tissues. And the more energetic we will feel after eating it.

Living food

Interestingly, not all raw food is necessarily considered 'living'. There is a very real difference between raw and living food. There is a lovely way of describing the difference between raw and living food I often give to explain the difference; Food that is living, grows when you add water (i.e seeds, lettuce still with roots, cabbage with roots etc) but raw, dead and dying food will decay and rot if you add water. And these are vegetables that have lost a fundamental section of their body needed for life for example, their root.

A raw lettuce in a grocer shop or supermarket without its root is still alive to a point but is in a degenerative, composting state. It is therefore considered in the raw and not in the 'living' category. Living food is food that is growing when you consume it, such as living alfalfa sprouts, Broccoli sprouts, mung bean sprouts, and any vegetable that is still in a growing state and attached to it's roots or recently, within 15 minutes, of being harvested.

Living food has a quality observed in Chinese Medicine that will increase circulation and is considered warming whereas raw food is cooling and make us feel cooler. This explains why we all prefer to eat salads in the summer as these are cooling. Salads in the winter will definitely make us feel cooler. However, living sprouts will not do this and will in fact improve our circulation and feeling of warmth. This may explain why wild animals are able to withstand very extreme cold winter temperatures.

The seeds of fresh fruits are the living part whereas the fruit pulp itself is in a partially degenerative state. Fruit pulp is considered to be more 'cleansing' and vegetables to be more 'nutritive' to our bodies from a Naturopathic viewpoint.

We are able to buy more and more living foods in the supermarkets such as basil, mint, coriander, lemon balm and other herbs in their pots. Sainsbury's are now also selling 'living lettuces' in pots of earth which only cost around 99p, and 'living salads' which come in little growing trays of earth and contain a variety of living salad leaves.

A 'living' lettuce is so much more nutritious and healthy than a lettuce with no root, and heaps healthier than the plastic bags of pre-prepared torn lettuce leaves. It is said that once a plant has been harvested it has lost 50% of it's nutrients within 15 minutes!

The difference between cooked food and raw

I have a simple experiment to suggest. Take a sweet potato cut it in half and boil one half. Put each half in a separate plastic bag in the fridge and see how long each half takes to decompose. The cooked half will go bad and rotten within a few days whereas the uncooked half will 'live' and stay relatively fresh infinitely longer before rotting. Sometimes weeks if not months. The 'life force' is keeping the uncooked half alive. If you ate the uncooked half you would feel much more energetic than you would if you had eaten the cooked half. This is because the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and 'life force' in the raw half have imparted themselves into you. The enzymes, vitamins, minerals and 'life force' in the cooked half have become minimal. The act of cooking has accelerated its degeneration by killing it! It doesn't take much science to understand the simple implications of this experiment.

I once heard someone remark that the smell of food cooking is the smell of the escaping nutrients. And I do wonder if there is some truth in this! The same as boiling vegetables which leave most of the nutrients in the water and not in the vegetable!

However I wish this was just the worst of it but it isn't. It's long been known that barbecuing blackens and burns meat and especially the fat, producing high levels of a carcinogenic substance called nitrosamine which has been implicated in bowel cancer. Fried meat has been linked to a higher risk of hormone related cancers in women and it has been found there is a three fold increased risk in men who eat fried meat regularly. Cooking any meat and this includes fish, at high temperatures, especially above 200C ie in roasting, creates carcinogens which are called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and these greatly increase cancer risk.

Is this all? Sadly not.

Then there are the acrylamides which are chemicals created by the combustion of oil and hydrocarbons in temperatures above 120 degrees C (248 degrees F). These are highly carcinogenic substances which cause cellular DNA to mutate. Acrylamides are created naturally in baked or fried food when the temperature reaches 120 degrees C although this is not the case in boiled or steamed food. They are absent in all uncooked foods and are not present in raw or boiled meat or raw or boiled potatoes. Professor Margareta Tornquist, associate professor of environmental chemistry in Sweden found acrylamides in foods at the beginning of 2002. Professor Tornquist says "there is no safe threshold" of these substances. The worst offenders are fries, chips, crisps and breakfast cereals.

Tim Lang, professor of Food Policy at Thames Valley University believes acrylamide and other chemicals could show why cancer is so common in developed countries. He says "The discovery of acrylamide could be the explanation we need. It means that these deaths could be caused by modern food processing and cooking techniques".

Oh dear! What next!

Then there are the trans fats created when fats are heated in the process of hydrogenation. These are said to be even worse for you than saturated fats. These raise our cholesterol and increase our risk of heart disease, the biggest number one killer.

Does uncooked raw and living food begin to look more attractive now? Including some precious raw and living food daily in our daily diet means the body is given additional nutrition and 'energy' and strength to overcome the daily abuses we bombard it which include the decomposing and carcinogenic substances we put into our bodies and blindly call food!

Benefits of raw and living foods

A proportion of green living and raw food incorporated in the daily diet will not only add enzymes, vitamins and minerals reduced or absent in cooked food, but also oxygen and chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is the green colouring of plants and is the part of the plant that converts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen during daylight hours.

Living food therefore has more 'life force', enzymes, vitamins minerals, chlorophyll and OXYGEN. When we eat green chlorophyll rich 'living' food the plant is making oxygen as we eat it (less so in raw food). Oxygen is essential in our diet. Cooked and processed foods do not contain much or any oxygen. Oxygen is what keeps us alive and is in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Our modern cooked and processed diets are virtually lacking in oxygen.

Fresh live Chlorophyll is therefore essential in our diet but is not yet recognized to be as important as it is. It builds healthy blood (it has the exact same structure as heme which is the red colour of our blood except that in chlorophyll there is a molecule of magnesium and in the centre of heme there is an iron molecule). Chlorophyll is rich in minerals as well as amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Another important fact about chlorophyll is it has the exact same pH as our blood which is close to 7.4. Eating and drinking fresh raw chlorophyll, as green veggie juices, helps the blood stabilise its alkaline environment which is constantly bombarded by our modern day acidic diet which is one of the major factors in disease. Sooner or later raw fresh chlorophyll will become the buzz word for a healthy diet so why not be ahead of the game and start to incorporate it now in your daily diet and notice the difference. Cooking chlorophyll rich vegetables makes them lose that beautiful bright green colour turning them a sludge green which kills their ability to impart oxygen, enzymes, vitamins, mineral, amino acids, trace elements and that elusive 'life force' into your body.

It's by degrees that living food imparts more 'energy' and nutrients than raw. Living food is the healthiest, with raw coming a close second with steamed veg as the next less nutritious, with boiled vegetables even less so and so on. The longer you cook, and the higher the temperature the more it reduces the nutrient value.

Living food is still relatively hard to come by and limited in variety, learning how to sprout seeds at home creates more choice although living food is now generally becoming more available due to a growing awareness and demand. The benefits are becoming realised. Cheapest in the long run is to sprout seeds at home. Nothing could be easier.

I suggest to most people to start incorporating a handful of living sprouts daily into the diet, for instance mixed in with a salad and to have a glass of freshly juiced green vegetable juice containing a variety of green veg and leaves. In my seminars and classes I teach what medicinal quality each veg and sprout has. This is particularly useful for people overcoming health challenges.

A good base for a green juice is cucumber with some added celery. In addition adding other green leafy veg or herbs such as parsley and kale will make it even more delicious and healthy.

Of course eating organic is by far the healthiest way to eat, especially if over coming a health challenge as organic fruit and veg have significantly more nutrients than non organic. Putting chemicals in the body from non organic foods only adds to the toxic overload which depresses the immune system further.

Every wild animal in the universe only lives on living and raw food whether a herbivore or carnivore. Only domestic animals eat cooked foods. Wild Herbivores graze on living vegetation while wild Carnivores kill their meat and usually devour their prey within minutes or hours. In the main wild animals retain their health and stamina without developing cancers and chronic diseases. It strikes me we have something to learn from this!

I have found the following conditions in my patients to be responsive, alongside specific individualised lifestyle changes, to the intake of wheatgrass juice:-

Ageing (premature),
Bladder disorders
Blood pressure (high or low),
Bone disorders,
Circulatory weakness,
Eye disorders,
Hay Fever,
Hair loss,
Heart disease,
Kidney disorders,
Liver disorders,
Lung disorders,
Nervous disorders,
Skin disorders,
Weight loss.


  1. Wheatgrass juice is one of the best sources of living chlorophyll available.
  2. Chlorophyll is the first product of light and, therefore, contains more light energy than any other element.
  3. Wheatgrass juice is a crude chlorophyll and can be taken orally and as a colon implant without toxic side effects.
  4. Chlorophyll is the basis of all plant life.
  5. Wheatgrass is high in oxygen like all green plants that contain chlorophyll. The brain and all body tissues function at an optimal level in a highly-oxygenated environment.
  6. Chlorophyll is anti-bacterial and can be used inside and outside the body as a healer.
  7. Dr. Bernard Jensen says that it only takes minutes to digest wheatgrass juice and uses up very little body energy.
  8. Science has proven that chlorophyll arrests growth and development of unfriendly bacteria
  9. Chlorophyll (wheatgrass) rebuilds the bloodstream. Studies of various animals have shown chlorophyll to be free of any toxic reaction. The red cell count was returned to normal within 4 to 5 days of the administration of chlorophyll, even in those animals which were known to be extremely anaemic or low in red cell count.
  10. Farmers in the Midwest who have sterile cows and bulls put them on wheatgrass to restore fertility. (The high magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore the sex hormones).
  11. Chlorophyll can be extracted from many plants, but wheatgrass is superior because it has been found to have over 100 elements needed by man. If grown in organic soil, it absorbs 92 of the known 102 minerals from the soil.
  12. Wheatgrass has what is called the grass-juice factor, which has been shown to keep herbivorous animals alive far longer than would be expected.
  13. Dr. Ann Wigmore has been helping people get well from chronic disorders for 30 years using wheatgrass.
  14. Liquid chlorophyll gets into the tissues, refines them and makes them over.
  15. Wheatgrass juice is a superior detoxification agent compared to carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables. Dr. Earp-Thomas, associate of Ann Wigmore, says that 15 pounds of wheatgrass is the equivalent of 350 pounds of carrot, lettuce, celery and so forth.
  16. Liquid chlorophyll washes drug deposits from the body.
  17. Chlorophyll neutralises toxins in the body.
  18. Chlorophyll helps purify the liver.
  19. Chlorophyll improves blood sugar problems.
  20. In the American Journal of Surgery, 1940, Benjamin Gruskin, M.D. recommends chlorophyll for its antiseptic benefits. The article suggests the following clinical uses for chlorophyll to clear up foul smelling odours, neutralise strep infections, heal wounds, hasten skin grafting, cure chronic sinusitis, overcome chronic inner-ear inflammation and infection, reduce varicose veins and heal leg ulcers, eliminate impetigo and other scabby eruptions, heal rectal sores, successfully treat inflammation of the uterine cervix, get rid of parasitic vaginal infections, reduce typhoid fever, and cure advanced pyorrhoea in many cases.
  21. Wheatgrass juice heals acne and even removes scars after it has been ingested for seven to eight months. The diet must be improved at the same time.
  22. Wheatgrass juice acts as a detergent in the body and is used as a body deodorant.
  23. A small amount of wheatgrass juice in the human diet prevents tooth decay.
  24. Wheatgrass juice held in the mouth for 5 minutes will eliminate toothaches. It pulls poisons from the gums.
  25. Gargle wheatgrass juice for a sore throat.
  26. Drink wheatgrass juice for skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis.
  27. Wheatgrass juice keeps the hair from greying.
  28. Pyorrhea of the mouth: Lay pulp of wheatgrass soaked in juice on diseased area in mouth or chew wheatgrass, spitting out the pulp.
  29. By taking wheatgrass juice, one may feel a difference in strength, endurance, health and spirituality - and experience a sense of well-being.
  30. Wheatgrass juice improves digestion.
  31. Wheatgrass juice is high in enzymes.
  32. Wheatgrass juicr is an excellent skin cleanser and can be absorbed through the skin for nutrition. Pour green juice over your body in a tub of warm water and soak for 15-20 minutes, rinse with cold water.
  33. Wheatgrass implants (enemas) are great for healing and detoxifying the colon walls. The implants also heal and cleanse the internal organs. After an enema, wait 20 minutes then implant 4 ounces of wheatgrass juice. Retain for 20 minutes.
  34. Wheatgrass juice is great for constipation and keeping the bowels open. It is high in magnesium.
  35. Dr. Birscher, a research scientist, called chlorophyll 'concentrated sunpower'. He believes that chlorophyll increases the function of the heart, affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus and the lungs.
  36. According to Dr. Birscher, nature uses chlorophyll (wheatgrass) as a body cleanser, re-builder and neutraliser of toxins.
  37. Wheatgrass juice can dissolve the scars that are formed in the lungs from breathing acid gasses. The effect of carbon monoxide is minimised since chlorophyll increases haemoglobin production.
  38. Wheatgrass juice reduces high blood pressure and enhances the capillaries.
  39. Wheatgrass juice can remove heavy metals from the body.
  40. Wheatgrass juice is great for blood disorders of all kinds.

Recipes to try!

4 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 4 spinach leaves, 2 apples and 3-4 inch round of wheatgrass - juice all.

2 oranges, 1 banana, 1 avocado (pitted), 1 lime and 3-4 inch round of wheatgrass - juice all.

3 kiwi fruits, 3 apricots, 2 cups of strawberries, 1 cup of pineapple pieces and 3-4 inch round of wheatgrass - juice all.

It has been a pivotal cornerstone of my approach to natural cancer care.

Pat Reeves - practitioner of nutritional and functional medicine.


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