We love summer here at RAW Foundation and are here to support your every step of the way, to make this your best summer yet! What better way to kick off the start of summer than with a barbeque at the beach, surrounded by the people you care about most? Be ready to rock your summer with a fresh take on BBQ!
Barbeques are always a summer favourite activity. There is nothing better than spending time with your nearest and dearest in the sunshine with great fresh food to share. But some people struggle with incorporating these fun events that are so much a part of our lives into their raw food lifestyle. Traditionally speaking barbeques are centered on meat, potatoes, bread, and mayonnaise-based salads, which can be a challenge, especially for new raw foodies or even those simply following a plant-based diet to navigate.
Despite agencies propagating that we should be grilling our food, there are a number of reasons why this just isn't true and is increasing our risk of disease. Grilling and barbequing exposes our food to a great number of toxins and carcinogens that are found in smoke, and they even coat the inside of our lungs when we breathe in the toxic smoke.
The high heat and charring are also serious problems. While the perfect grill marks are often coveted as a symbol of one's ultimate grilling prowess, any charring of foods creates a toxic substance called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are strongly associated with an increased risk of cancer when we consume them. Cooking food at high heats also creates advanced glycation end products (AGE), molecules that damage organs and skin while aging us faster from the inside out.
Heat destroys more than just the live enzymes of food. It also destroys many antioxidants, beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients. The water soluble vitamins (B complex and vitamin C) are particularly vulnerable to heat exposure and are mostly, if not completely destroyed in the cooking process. B vitamins are very important for energy metabolism and the synthesis of oxygen carrying red blood cells. If we don't have enough B complex in our bodies, we can start to feel fatigued, brain fog, dry skin, and even depressed. Raw almonds, avocadoes, dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli and bananas all contain a variety of B vitamins.
Vitamin C helps us repair tissue, keep our immune systems strong and acts as an antioxidant to protect us from free radical damage. If we don't have enough vitamin C, we can develop low resistance to infections, bleeding gums, bruising and fatigue. Red peppers, strawberries, citrus and dark leafy greens are all great sources of vitamin C.
While many people don't think of minerals as being sensitive to heat, the mineral we are most likely to be deficient in – magnesium – actually is very heat sensitive. Magnesium is essential for countless functions in the body and is required for hundreds of metabolic reactions to take place. Not only this, but it also required for proper nerve conduction and even cardiac function to relax the heart muscle. When we are deficient in magnesium we can start to feel fatigued, experience muscle twitches and spasms, and may suffer from headaches, constipation, insomnia and anxiety. Great sources include raw pumpkin, cashews or sesame seeds, dark leafy greens and sprouted buckwheat.
But you can still enjoy barbeque season as a raw foodie! We love bringing some of our favorite raw entrees like our Summer Sliders (learn how to make these in the Level 2 Immersion Weekend Program) for everyone to enjoy. Even if your friends are only enjoying your raw dishes as a side for now, you are introducing them to a whole new delicious world of gastronomic adventures!
What is your favorite plant-based barbeque recipe? Let us know on Facebook!
*This article is not intended as medical advice and is for general informational purposes only. Please consult with your personal physician before implementing any dietary, supplementation, exercise, or lifestyle changes.
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