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Eating Raw means eating more fruits and vegetables
Eating Raw. “Eat more fruits and vegetables!” We hear that advice so often it is nearly a cliché. But something important is being overlooked in that prescription to good health. To maximize nutrients, the key is to eat more raw produce. Antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are diminished from foods when we cook them, so it’s crucial to eat at least some produce in its purest state!
While the National Cancer Institute recommends at least 5 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit daily, most Americans don’t even eat 4 servings of produce on a given day. The reason fruits and vegetables, particularly in their natural state, are now being touted is that they contain disease-fighting compounds known as phytochemicals which are thought to prevent cell damage. That means they help us look and feel younger as we age, while simultaneously warding off cancer and other diseases.
A few ways to boost your intake of raw fruits and vegetables:
- Start raw: Serve appetizer plates of in-season vegetables and serve with tzatziki made of plain yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill.
- Spruce up salads: Liven up dark leafy greens with broccoli, peas, seeds, and fruits like apples, oranges, even pomegranates. Add beans and cheeses for variety. Throw in fresh herbs like basil for even more flavor, and dress with high-quality olive oil, vinegar, coarse salt and fresh-ground pepper.
- Get juicy: Beets, carrots, spinach, celery, apples, oranges make for refreshing drinks–add ginger or lime for an added zing.
- Smooth it over: Fruits blended with yogurt make for energy-packed, filling breakfasts and snacks.
- Plant a garden: Nothing is more nutritious than produce freshly-plucked from the ground!