ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The Raw Food Diet
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
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The Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet typically includes fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, seaweeds, and super foods (spirulina, blue-green algae, goji berries, maca, cacao, and wheatgrass, among others) but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring and bland. These days, you can indulge in a fruit smoothie with soaked flax seeds, bananas, fresh fruit and dates or zucchini and mango slices topped with a Thai nut curry cream and coconut noodles. As more and more people shift towards vegetarian- or vegan-based diets, the popularity and awareness of eating raw foods is increasing. The seemingly inconvenient and restrictive nature of eating this way is often outweighed by the established health benefits. These include improved digestion, more energy, clearer skin, better focus, improved memory, weight loss, detoxification, and a stronger immune system. Some critics do question the bioavailability of certain nutrients in raw foods, the natural toxins present in some raw foods, and the risk of low bone mass. But it seems most are in agreement over the positive benefits of incorporating more whole, unprocessed foods as the staple of a healthy diet. In this regard, eating raw foods can certainly improve overall health and wellness.
Enzymes are considered the life force of food.

Raw foodists believe in eating an uncooked, unprocessed, and organic plant based diet. This means no foods heated over 116 degrees. The reason is that enzymes in food are destroyed at this temperature, even starting to degrade at 105 degrees. Enzymes are required for the reactions that aid in the digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. Since cooked food is devoid of natural enzymes, your body must recruit its own reserve. This source may be unreliable or insufficient for these tasks. As a result, your body must expend more energy to extract the nutrients from cooked foods. In addition, cooking can change the molecular structure of food – especially if using a microwave. Cooking foods at high temperatures can create toxic by-products, adding to the load our bodies already face from living in a toxic environment. Consuming foods that are closer to your body temperate is also beneficial because there is no shock to the system that can occur when consuming piping hot foods, soups and beverages.
A few question the effects of a completely raw diet.

Generally speaking, raw foods have a higher nutritive value. Though, there are debates over the bioavailability of some nutrients from raw foods. Lycopene, which has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of prostate and lung cancer, is only available from cooked versus raw tomatoes. Carotenoids, well known as antioxidants, are more available from cooked versus raw carrots. A second issue with raw foods is the natural toxins present in some edible plants that would usually be destroyed by cooking. For example, canavanine (found in alfalfa sprouts) can be harmful to the immune system and psoralens (found in celery) can sensitize the skin to the harmful effects of UV rays. Our bodies do have innate defenses against these natural toxins but may not be as efficient considering all the other toxins we process. A final concern with raw foods is based on the results of a study in the March 28, 2005 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine which showed that vegetarians who eat only raw foods have abnormally low bone mass – but other markers for bone health among the raw foods group were normal. On a positive note, the raw foods group consumed fewer calories than the control group and had a body mass index (BMI) averaging 20 (in the normal range) compared to just over 25 (considered overweight) in the control group.
Thinking about going raw?

The best way to know if a raw food diet is appropriate for your body is to experiment by slowly adding more raw foods to your current diet and observing how your body feels. Even raw-food purists like David Wolfe say most people can gain the benefits of raw foods while enjoying some cooked varieties. "Even a diet that is 70 to 80 percent raw will give people so many health benefits," he says, "that they may not need to go further." Remember to start slow because a sensitive digestive tract may need time to adjust to the intensity of a more nutrient-rich raw food diet. Having success with your transition to raw foods is more dependent on a positive state of mind than a kitchen full of equipment. The truth is that you don’t need more than a good wet/dry food processor, the rest are merely for convenience. Shifting back to eating foods the way nature created them is more harmonious on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Angela Stokes, an inspirational raw foodist says, "Let's not forget that one of the main joys of a raw lifestyle is that it's about simplifying – getting back to a simple, natural way of living."

-Dr. Christine Gonzalez (Integrative PharmD, CHC)