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Raw Foods

Raw food lunch
Raw food lunch

Dear Delialah,

Would you please share your opinion on eating raw foods? I understand that unprocessed food is healthier because the nutrients are not cooked and broken down, but is an uncooked carrot really so much healthier than a cooked carrot? Some raw foodist I've spoken to claim a cooked carrot has no more nutrients than a cooked hamburger. Is this true?

Michael Perria, Charlotte

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your question. While it is true that many of the nutrients are destroyed during the cooking process, the key factor in raw food is the digestive enzymes. Our body needs enzymes to break down the foods we eat. When food is cooked, it loses the majority of its enzymes, and our bodies are forced to develop our own enzymes in order to digest the food, a process that taxes the immune system,  overworks all our major organs and exhausts our energy supply. Uncooked, raw foods have all the digestive enzymes intact, and the food is broken down naturally, in a fraction of the time it would take for our body to digest cooked food.

In regards to the immune system, scientists discovered back in the early 1900's that after consuming a meal, the body reacts with a large boost in white blood cells, much like it does during an infection, stress or inflammation. Further research proved that after consuming raw foods in their unaltered state, the body did not respond with the production of white blood cells, thus proving that cooked foods elicit an immune response. An overactive immune system is the culprit behind autoimmune disorders such as Lupus and asthma, in which the body begins to attack itself because of an immune system that has gone haywire.

The answer to your question then, is both yes and no. While it is not true that a cooked carrot, rich in beta carotene and antioxidants, has an equal nutrient content to a hamburger, in terms of digestive enzymes, a cooked carrot and a cooked hamburger are equivalent to one another.

If you are new to the raw food scene and are looking to explore a raw meal, make a trip over to Real Food Charlotte, a vegetarian and raw food café located on South Boulevard in Charlotte. Real Food Charlotte serves up a variety of  tasty raw food derived from the finest all natural, organic ingredients grown in the Charlotte region. Popular choices include the Mama's Mushroom Pocket, a savory dish comprised of baby Bella mushrooms marinated in a citrus cilantro vinaigrette and the Dolphin Delight, a colorful assortment of marinated raw vegetables served up to your liking. Visit Real Food Charlotte and mention to receive 10% off your meal purchase.

Real Food Charlotte                                                                                                                                                           2102 South Boulevard - Suite 150                                                                                                                            Charlotte, NC                                                                                                                                                        704.910.9694                                                                                                                               

Email your alternative health questions to Delialah at


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