Best Raw Foods

A Food Chart/Guide to Which Raw Foods Are Best

Copyright © 2014 Nora Lenz

Which raw foods are best for human consumption?  Despite the modern tendency to make this determination based on what is seen under a microscope, there are better ways to choose foods.  Human senses have done a fine job of keeping our species from going extinct for lo these millions of years, and combining these with some basic knowledge about which foods are biochemically more usable by the body can lead us to a very high level of health, trusting that other health-building practices are followed as well (fresh air, sleep, exercise, etc.).  Foods that are plainly inappropriate (the bark and leaves of trees, for example) may have lots of beneficial nutrients, but if they are encased in cellulose or otherwise un-bioavailable, they are of no use to our bodies.  Conventional nutritionists seem to miss this point when they rave about the “cancer-fighting” elements of cruciferous vegetables.  When they do get it, they recommend things like cooking to break down the cell walls, which kills nutrients.  Could it be that cruciferous vegetables simply aren’t all they’re cracked up to be?  This is just one example of how nutritional pseudo-science has led us away from our ability to trust ourselves.  Be prepared to have your thinking challenged as you read this chart, if you’ve accepted the modern nutritional party line.  Also, please note that many foods that are not “optimal” or ideal are very helpful when eaten judiciously during transition.  It is not recommended to give up all “sub-optimal” foods at once, but to omit the least healthful foods from the diet and replace them with increasingly healthier transitional fare.

FRUIT All types Among the thousands of fruits, there are but a mere handful that are harmful to the human body when eaten in their fresh, raw, whole, unprocessed state, in reasonable and healthful quantities and to satisfy genuine hunger. Allow your taste preferences to guide you.
Brazil Nuts
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Flax seeds
Sesame seeds
In nature, nuts are encased in a shell which makes eating them slow and laborious. Early humans with other more appealing and expedient food options would likely have selected them over nuts. It can be assumed from this fact and from what we know about how difficult they are to digest that we are not designed to subsist on large quantities of nuts and/or seeds. Nuts fill the strong desire during transition for dense, concentrated foods, so they should be eaten to the extent that they keep you from eating less healthful foods, but it’s best to continually try to cut back. When possible, obtain them unshelled. The best varieties are almonds, filberts, pecans, macadamias and young coconuts (mature coconut is hard to digest due to its high starch content). Digestibility of nuts and seeds can sometimes be improved by soaking. Cashews are heated for removal from their shell so are not truly raw. Flax and sesame seeds are difficult to chew well so they remain largely indigestible.
VEGETABLES Generally, in spite of the unqualified stamp of approval these foods get from mainstream nutrition “experts”, the fact is that most vegetables are not optimal human food. If our palates and senses weren’t perverted by years of abusive eating practices, we would be able to judge their lack of suitability by their unappealing taste, smell and appearance. Lacking this skill, we can compensate with our knowledge that these foods are difficult to digest and even toxic in some cases. Most are fine for the transition process but as you continue to make improvements, the following information should be taken into consideration.
Cruciferous Vegetables Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Bok choy (greens)
Collard greens
All are disqualified as optimal or even appropriate due to high cellulose content. Our bodies have limited ability to access the nutrients encased in the cellulose structure, so most of what we eat of them must only be eliminated from the body, which unnecessarily taxes our eliminative processes. These vegetables also contain irritating and indigestible oxalic acid and are bland or unpleasant to eat in their raw state. The exception in this category is young or baby spinach, which has what most people describe as a pleasant flavor and is relatively easy to digest in moderate quantities since its oxalic acid content is low at this point in its growth.
Tubers Carrots
All vegetables that grow underground are modified roots. One job of a root in nature is to store nutrients for the plant above. Starch is one of nature’s best food storage mechanisms, and it promotes storage on our bodies, too (fat). These foods are too excessively high in starch and cellulose to be considered optimal. They are also low in nutrients. They are commonly cooked because of their indigestibility in the raw state, which is no answer because cooking causes harmful oxidation and destruction of nutrients. While these foods are not optimal, they can be helpful in transition (eaten raw) because, like nuts, they can provide a feeling of “fullness”.
Beans, legumes and peas PeanutsLentils
Navy beans
Pinto beans
Most of these foods must be cooked to be palatable, which automatically disqualifies them as being human food. Peanuts are somewhat palatable in the raw state, but are difficult to digest cooked or raw.  The digestibility of legumes is low due to their complex make-up and concentrated protein, fat and starch content, which causes them to putrefy and ferment in our bodies, which results in gas production.
Non-sweet fruits Tomatoes
Bell peppers
These are optimal foods. They are water and nutrient rich. Eat all you desire, especially if you want foods that are nutritious and juicy but low in sugar. Note that “nightshades” have an undeserved negative reputation due to the fact that other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, are poisonous to humans. The fruit is NOT. Green bell peppers are unripe and should never be eaten (all other colors are good).
Squashes Pumpkin
These foods are high in cellulose, difficult to digest, low in sugar and flavorless. Similar to tubers in digestibility. They are generally cooked and flavored to make them palatable and digestible.
Lettuces Romaine An optimal food, water and nutrient rich, easily digested when well-chewed.
Iceberg This is an underrated food. Watery, pleasant and even sweet tasting, it combines well with non-sweet fruits (as romaine and other lettuces do), and is easy to digest.
Red and Green leaf Slightly bitter taste suggests less digestibility than romaine or iceberg, not optimal but acceptable as determined by personal preference.
Wild or exotic greens Includes: dandelion, frisée, watercress, maché, escarole, mustard greens and many others. Most have slightly to moderately bitter taste suggestive of less digestibility and toxic constituents. Wild greens that have a pleasantly mild or nutty flavor are desirable and appropriate (for example, Miner’s lettuce).
Sprouts Alfalfa
Wheat grass
Bean sprouts (all kinds)
These foods are highly over-rated. They are high in cellulose, low in energy value, limited nutrient value, and have some toxic compounds. For those with an acquired taste for sprouts, they are fine for transition. They are not optimal, however, and do not deserve the favorable reputation they enjoy.
Herbs Basil
Used to “enhance” the flavor of foods or to suppress the symptoms of disease. Do not qualify as human foods. Contain irritating alkaloids and other noxious chemicals that the human body cannot digest
Toxic “Foods” Onions
Hot peppers (all varieties)
Contain toxic acids and alkaloids that irritate tissues and harmfully excite nerve endings. These foods are eaten only for the abusive thrill reaction they force upon the body, reactions which are easily mistaken as “energizing” the body, when in reality the body is losing its energy stores and creating unnecessary metabolic waste as it eliminates the offending substances. Best completely avoided, even in transition.
Miscellaneous Vegetables Corn Too starchy to be optimal but an acceptable transition food when eaten fresh. Fresh corn off the stalk is usually sweet, indicating an easily digested high sugar content, but it soon turns starchy and less digestible within a few hours of picking.
Celery An optimal food! Water and mineral rich, a highly digestible, highly alkaline food that combines well with everything except melons.
Bok choy (stalks) Similar to celery, a bit more dense in cellulose, slightly bitter taste but very rich in water; an acceptable food.
Rhubarb Acidic stalk vegetable, unpalatable in raw state
Mushrooms (all varieties) Difficult to digest, low in water and nutrients, low in energy value, sometimes poisonous. Acceptable in transition for entertainment or variety purposes.
Avocado An excellent food but high fat content requires that it be eaten in small to moderate amounts.
Olives Also high in fat so should be eaten in moderation and ONLY if tree-ripened and sun-dried. Often bitter, especially if not allowed to fully ripen.
Artichokes High in starch, bitter, bland, unpalatable in raw state, an unredeemable, useless food for humans when other alternatives are available.
Okra Not optimal, high in cellulose, starchy, hard to digest, low in available energy, edible in transition as preference dictates as a “bulking” food.
Eggplant High in cellulose, similar to zucchini, unpalatable and bland in its raw state.

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