Protein & Living Foods

Yay! I get to talk about nutrition – my favorite subject in the whole world!!! (except for my cats maybe 😉 )

Excellent question: “Where do you get your protein?” It’s one I was curious about myself as I was researching raw foods. All the research I’ve done has fascinated me. Here’s the short version without me getting on my soapbox (that’ll come at the end):

The FDA recommends that 10% of our calories comes from protein, and more for athletes and pregnant women. So here’s some numbers for you:

  • Spinach = 57% protein
  • Portobello Mushrooms = 48% protein
  • Asparagus = 44% protein
  • Broccoli = 39% protein
  • Beans (all kinds) = 25% protein (increasing exponentially when you sprout them!)
  • Kale = 24% protein
  • Eggplant = 20% protein
  • Mana bread = 16% protein (ingredients: sprouted rye & water – no joke that’s all there is in it)
  • Quinoa = 16% (increasing exponentially when you sprout it)
  • Tomatoes = 15% protein
  • Almond butter = 14% protein

And we’re not just talking any protein here guys – it’s the good stuff. The kind that has all of its digestive enzymes in tact and amino acids in abundance. And don’t even get me started on the vitamins! See below for an explanation of what happens when you cook food – and why eating raw is good for you.

So as you can see with percentages like that, whether you are eating 1200 calories a day or 2500 it’s impossible not to get enough protein. Now try eating vegetarian and getting enough protein (and vitamins) on white bread, white rice, white sugar. So does that mean I’ll never eat anything made from white flour and sugar again? Absolutely not! (remember moderation – only here these examples should be extreme rarities). The litmus test: would I feed it to my children? Absolutely not!
Bottom line: highly processed foods are a slow poison to the body.

Woops! I got on my soapbox without warning you.

Why food is better raw:

  • Cooking food above 118 degrees destroys its enzymes (read all about these below).
  • Oxygen is lost and free radicals are produced.
  • Cooking destroys 50% of the protein in our food.
  • Cooking denatures the proteins in our food, rendering them harder to digest and utilize.
  • Between 50 to 80 percent of the vitamins and minerals are also destroyed.
  • Under heat pesticides break down into more toxic compounds, which are more easily assimilated into our bodies.

What are enzymes and why are they good?

  • Every food contains exactly the perfect mix of enzymes to break it down completely.
  • Enzymes are the catalyst of every chemical reaction in our bodies. Without them, there can be no cellular division, immune system functioning, energy production, nor brain activity.
  • There are two different types of enzymes in our bodies, metabolic enzymes and digestive enzymes. We produce over 100,000 different enzymes, each doing a unique task, but:
  • It has been demonstrated that our bodies produce a finite lifetime supply of enzymes. Cooked food drains our finite reserve of enzymes. Living food does not cause this drain, so:
  • There are two main problems with this enzyme destruction. First, our bodies cannot produce enzymes in the perfect mix to metabolize food as completely as the food enzymes nature creates. This results in partially digested fats, proteins and starches that will clog up our body’s intestinal tract and arteries. Yuck! 😛
  • No vitamins, proteins, or hormones can do their work without enzymes.

Furthermore, studies have shown that people who consume plant based diets have drastically fewer instances of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease (end soapbox).

You can only do the best you can do. Myself, I’m still in the “baby steps” phase. I am aware of the benefits and risks and am learning more every day and week how to do better. Confession: boxed kraft macaroni and cheese is my favorite food (and probably always will be) 😳

Just start with a green smoothie everyday and see where it takes you! 😀