The Świętokrzyska Farm is a member of the Polish Chamber of Organic Food (PIŻE), which is an organization of representatives of the organic food market (farmers, processors, retail, and wholesalers representatives). Currently, together with all members of PIŻE, the Świętokrzyska Farm supports a campaign which promotes sustainable production, distribution and consumption of organic food called “JEMY EKO”. Read more on: jemyeko.com
Are the organic products synonymous with healthy food? Unfortunately it is not always so. Besides the biological and chemical purity, one important parameter of healthy food is the degree to which it has been processed. Even perfectly cultivated vegetable or fruit can be easily deprived of its valuable nutritional values in the process of cooking. Although much is being said about the role of vitamins and minerals, there exist other extremely important ingredients, too, such as enzymes. The environment and the human body are closely aligned with each other. Each vegetable or fruit, besides the building ingredients, also contains enzymes needed in the process of digesting its own self.
However, they are so delicate – they will not survive in temperatures above 41 degrees Celsius, which means that cooking deprives dishes of the enzymes. When we eat whole foods, the food enzymes start the digestion process in the upper part of one’s stomach, which means that the food can be fully assimilated. If there are no such enzymes, undigested food passes through one’s digestive system and the body has to use the help of the enzymes-rich leukocytes (i.e. white blood cells) to complete the digestion process, which gets finalized only in blood. A study conducted in 1897 by Rudolf Virchov, father of the cell pathology science, confirmed the existence of food leukocytosis – that is an increase in the count of white blood cells after having a meal (all those taking part in the study consumed thermally processed food). Therefore Virchow considered that to be a normal phenomenon. It was not until 1930, that a study by Paul Kouchakoff showed that a leukocyte spike occurs only after eating cooked food. The same products, only raw, did not increase the count of white blood cells. It is worth pointing out that leukocytosis is a reaction of the body during acute infections (viral, bacterial, inflammatory), poisoning, or cancer. If our daily diet consists mostly of thermally processed meals, our immune system is kept busy by the digestion process and with time becomes much less effective in fighting diseases.
Nutrients which in raw foods are fundamental to our health, when overheated become difficult to digest and even turn toxic. This applies especially to animal proteins since they coagulate at as low a temperature as 48 degrees Celsius. Coagulation is a process which causes water-soluble proteins to merge into insoluble shreds and, consequently, reduces protein absorption of more than 50%. The food, instead of being digested, simply sits in one’s digestive system, which in turn leads to fermentation and multiplication of bacteria. This badly affects one’s intestinal microbiota, causes over time damage to the natural bacterial flora and problems with absorbing nutrients and, consequently, leads to serious deficiencies. After eating highly processed foods, we feel an incessant hunger because the body cannot assimilate the necessary nutrients from the food so depleted. Hunger is our bodies’ cry for nutrients, but it gets misinterpreted as a desire to have more food. Many people tend to think that a malnourished person looks like an emaciated famine victim from somewhere in Africa, while in fact it is overweight people who, through eating lots of low-quality food, have the greatest deficiencies of nutrients.
A diet which relies on processed and cooked foods requires our bodies to spend lots of energy on digestion, while our health depends largely on how much energy our body consumes to handle itself. The more energy we spend on digestion, the less of it remains for regenerating cells and fighting diseases. Raw foods provide our bodies with more energy, and at the same time they use less energy for the indispensable physiological processes.
An acid-alkaline balance is also an important food parameter. Cooked and highly processed foods e.g. refined sugar, white flour, or white rice are highly acidic, while our body is alkaline. Acidification of the body, alongside with psychosomatic factors, is increasingly cited as the cause of severe civilization diseases – obesity, diabetes, cancer.
However, we have got some good news here, as there exists a simple remedy for all this: eating as many raw vegetables and fruit as possible! The recommended proportion is: per one portion of cooked food, three portions of raw food should be consumed. A meal which is so composed will not provoke food leukocytosis, and will supply our body with a full set of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. And will be alkaline, too.
What must not be overlooked is the role of freshly squeezed juices in our daily diet. Juices, especially from dark green leaves, are the best way to restore balance in one’s body and replenish shortages of vitamins and minerals. If we make them in a low speed juicer, they will also retain about 90% of the enzymes. No dietary supplement can provide such a portion of health!