ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
EYE CARE, VISION
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Maximize Your Run
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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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)