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Health Tip Live and Dead Food


  In recent years a new way of classifying food has gained currency.  Food can be labelled “live” or “dead”.  An increasing number of nutritionists are advising that one of the most important things you can do to protect and improve your health is to embrace a diet rich in live foods.

  Live foods are foods that are consumed uncooked, i.e. raw, and as close as possible to their time of ripening, i.e. fresh.  Such foods are called “live” because they contain all their native nutrients-vitamins and minerals- as well as the enzymes and other components that enable our bodies to absorb and digest the nutrients and eliminate what is not essential.  Most live foods are also high in fiber and water content.

  Totally “dead” foods are foods that have lost their nutrients and enzymes and are therefore devoid of nutritional value.  A live food can become a dead food if it is left unused in its natural state long enough to rot and spoil.  Cooking, processing and packaging food are generally understood to prevent rapid spoilage and to that extent extend a food’s life.  Live food advocates argue that this comes at a price.  The life of the food is technically prolonged but the quantity and quality of the nutrients and enzymes are eroded to the point where the food can be considered relatively “dead”.  Cooking, for example, is known to reduce the nutritional value of food, especially cooking at high temperatures. Most enzymes begin to degrade at 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

  Some live food advocates favor a diet confined exclusively to raw fruits and vegetables’ grains and nuts. Most counsel a less drastic but still significant change in our dietary routine.  Gradually increase your consumption of live foods while decreasing your consumption of relatively dead foods. Not only will you gain the benefits of higher nutrition combined with better digestion and absorption, you’ll also reduce the negative effect of the less healthy food you eat.  The higher enzyme content of the live food combined with the higher water and fiber content will improve your digestion of the less healthy food while helping to “move it along”, so it doesn’t linger in your body.  Those additional apples, oranges, carrot sticks and broccoli spears will do you a lot of good.  That occasional hot dog, candy bar or ice cream cone will do you less harm.