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The Raw Deal...Live Food!

Instant Eating

the ultimate fast food

Living High on Live Food
Eden Eatin’

Fast Feasts From Fresh Foods
Fast, Fresh and Fabulous 

The Raw Deal

Of all the alternative titles, Live Food just sounds more appealing than Raw Food. Though both terms infer uncooked foods, “raw” turns most people off as they imagine something cold and undone. But why? Raw could just as easily mean original, pure, natural, and unadulterated. Mention raw power and we conjure up an image of unbridled brute force. Actually, this is true for food as well! Perhaps we have allowed unfounded conceptions of dietary appropriateness to shape our view of normality. A piping hot bowl of stew: good; fresh corn soup made right of the cob: bad? Actually, not bad at all.

Recent investigations have reported a much more favorable status for fresh foods. Not only are they being promoted as superior sources of vital nutrients but they offer highly desirable advantages to inert victuals. Why is there such widespread interest in live foods?

1. Higher bioavailability of important nutritional elements like vitamines, digestive enzymes, anti-oxidants, amino and essential fatty acids that are vulnerable to the heat of cooking.
2. Non-toxic. Avoids the obligatory ingestion of unhealthy substances created by the effects of heating foods such as carmalized carbohydrates and carcinogenic fatty residues.
3. Higher fiber content improves intestinal transit and bowel regularity.
4. Less time invested in meal preparation makes live food the ultimate fast food: no need to wait for anything to cook!
5. Low fat content of raw food results in automatic body weight normalization.
6. Hypoallergenic. Eliminating alien dairy and poultry proteins can cure a host of allergies.


Processing (which includes concentration, homogenization, pasteurization, cooking, freezing, dehydration, crystalization) too often means the elimination of important nutritional components as well as the unwelcome addition of artificial ingredients.


“Super nutritious young organic greens, power packed sprouted nuts, seeds and grains, fabulous fermented preparations and exciting dehydrated foods" is how Ann Wigmore describes her version of the ideal diet.


The Scale of Decreasing Food Value

Fresh, raw sprouted grains/seeds/nuts are alive and growing.

Raw fresh fruit is living but has no growth potential.

Dried fruits have minimal nutrient losses.

Unsprouted raw seeds and nuts are still considered alive because of their dormant potential state, but are less desirable because of their antinutrient content.

Raw root vegetables may resume growth if replanted. The original Eden diet did not include vegetables, suggesting they may be inferior foods.

Cooked food is dead, it is not capable of growth.


All processed food has been heated, thus destroying all natural enzymes. Enzymes present in live food allow the storage nutrients (proteins, fats, and starches) to be digested by the food itself. This relieves the body from the need to produce as many digestive enzymes, allowing energy to be used for other needs. 


Discussing Digestion


Eating your food just isn’t enough. Getting a meal in your mouth is barely the first step in a complicated process of making that morsel mean something to your body. The physiologic process of digestion is indeed a complicated one that begins with the ingestion of bulk food and ends with the metabolic disassembly of individual molecules deep within the core of your body. In between these two start and finish points is a string of critical stages.

Proper mastication allows the enzyme known as salivary amylase to perform its important role as a pre-gastric starch-splitter. Gulping large boluses of partially chewed food short-cuts this oral opportunity and places an unnecessary and additional burden on the lower gastrointestinal service stations. Stomach ache, bloat or heartburn is the natural and predictable response. Slow down and enjoy—not only the roses—but the full flavor, the total taste, and everything to which you are entitled.


Washing it down with 16 ounces of your favorite fiz only worsens the matter. Diluted amylase concentrations render your salivary enzyme useless. Excessive fluids in the stomach only delay the start of digestion by putting the whole business on hold until all that liquid can be absorbed and the pH can start dropping. The digestive machinery works much better if the skids are greased with water well before you start your meal. Tanking up ahead of time allows your saliva glands to deliver plenty of juice—all you’ll really need to fully enjoy every bite.


Some gastrophysiologists believe that this oral predigestion continues in the upper antral portion of the stomach. Fresh foods that have not been denatured by prolonged exposure to high temperatures contain their own supply of digestive enzymes: they’re self-digesting! Provided that seeds (including cereals and most nuts) have already begun their own germination-digestion process, their built-in enzyme inhibitors will no longer be around to interfere.


After about an hour, the lower gastric portion of the stomach has accumulated a sufficient supply of hydrochloric acid and enzymes like trypsin, chymotrypsin and pepsin to begin the protein phase of digestion. Proteins are polymers, complex molecules composed of separate chains and subchains. The lower acid pH causes hydrolysis (breaking hydrogen bonds) of the bulk protein molecules into smaller amino-acid subunits. 


Enzymes are specialized protein molecules that also aid in the break-up of ingested protein. Then how can enzymes do anything at all in a bath of hydrochloric acid? Remember, they are specialized molecules. One measurable property of biochemical structures is the pH or acid concentration at which the molecule denatures or loses its atomic configuration. Some molecules are more “acid resistant” than others. This is evident when you consider that battery acid will burn holes in your cotton or wool clothing and even your skin, but doesn’t seem to bother most plastics. All of these substances are hydrocarbons (as are enzymes), but they each have different physical properties. So while the more simplified salivary enzymes are inactivated by the stomach’s rising acid tide, the more durable proteinase (protein-cleaving) enzymes can continue to operate unaffected.


Fat is the last food component to get digested. Acid won’t do the trick. The body does produce lipase, the lipid-splitting enzyme, but not until the meal mixture, now called chyme, reaches the upper small intestine. The pancreas (more famous for its production of insulin) produces both amylase and lipase. Simultaneously, the liver provides a soapy syrup called bile to emulsify the oil-water concoction. Bile is stored in its own reservoir, the gall bladder, that can squirt out an emergency supply when a great greasy gormet comes along. This explains the symptoms, so characteristic of gall bladder disease: crampy, colic-like pain following a fatty feast.


Shortly after entering the upper small intestine, digestion should be complete. All the carbohydrate starches should now be reduced to an assortment of individual sugars: glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose and many others. All the proteins should be broken up into a slurry of individual amino acids: glycine, cysteine, methionine, lysine, arginine and over a dozen more. All the fat should be sliced into a herd of individual fatty-acids: ….


Should be. But this rarely happens. 

·       Too much starch or not enough starch enzyme and the GI tract gets an unexpected load of undigested (and now, undigestable) carbohydrate. The result? Diarrhea, gas, and abdominal cramping. 

·       Too much protein or not enough protein enzyme and the intestinal bug brigade have a field day feasting on undigested protein that was never supposed to get this far down stream. The result? Gas, methane gas, and the bloating and discomfort that go along with it. And, as a by product, a slew of toxic fermentative waste compounds such as indoles that are absorbed into the circulation and cause nausea, headaches, mucosal irritation and potentially mutational change in the lining of the lower colon and rectum.

·       Too much fat or not enough fat enzyme and, once again, it’s grease in the gut overload. The result? Steatorrhea. And if that sounds like diarrhea, it’s because it is. Floating, smelly, liquid stools that shouldn’t be.

Cooking Undigestables

Potato Starch

Some foods, at least traditional foods, just simply cannot be digested in their natural uncooked state. The ubiquitous potato for one. At the Instituto del Frio, Departament of Metabolism and Nutrition in Madrid, Spain a report was published in 2000 addressing the digestability of raw and cooked potato starch. The reason for conducting this research was to investigate the way in which potatoes stimulate the release of insulin. The glycemic response can be either slow and gradual or sudden and abrupt depending on how quickly potato starch can be changed into simple sugars. This study found that raw potatoes have a high percentage of “resistant starch”—rendering it “hardly digested.” On the other hand, boiled and mashed potatoes had the highest rate of digestions with levels of resistant starch reduced to just over 1%.

Garcia-Alonso A, Goni I: Effect of processing on potato starch: in vitro availability and glycaemic index”, Nahrung 2000 Feb;44(1):19-22


Beans: Raw, Boiled and Toasted

This article, originally published in Spanish, comes from the Laboratorio of Digestive Sciences at the  University Autonoma in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Researchers Guzman, Quijada and Hernandez measured the protein digestibility of beans grown and eaten by the people of Northeast Mexico. Raw seeds were found to have a digestibility score of around 80-85%, fairly good compared to most legumes. But toasting the beans for 10 minutes at 80-90 degrees Celsius increased this to nearly 92%. Then they tried boiling the seeds in their shells and sheaths. There was no change in digestibility. Finally, they boiled the seeds after removing the shells and sheaths. This time the protein digestibility shot up to almost 95%. Like many other similar studies, this report demonstrates the fact that not all foods are best eaten in their raw state. Heat treatments, like cooking, can unquestionably improve digestability, by breaking down the molecular structure or denaturing the protein moleucles. 

Alanis Guzman MG, Gonzalez Quijada MR, Mercado Hernandez R , “Effect of cooking on the chemical and nutritional value of the Pithecellobium flexicaule (Bent) seed.” Arch Latinoam Nutr 1998 Dec;48(4):328-33


Cooking and Nutrient Loss

Raw vs Cooked Onions

Like garlic, the Welsh onion has been consumed for the prevention of cardiovascular disorders. Many published accounts have confirmed these antithrombotic effects, like this one from the Department of Food Health at the Chia Nan College of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan, Taiwan. Raw Welsh onion juice consumption was shown to significantly lower resting systolic blood pressure, prolong bleeding time, diminish platelet adhesion and aggregation and increase the plasma level of 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha), the stable prostacyclin metabolite. But boiled Welsh onion juice consumption was totally ineffective in altering any of these parameters.

Chen JH, Chen HI, Tsai SJ, Jen CJ, “Chronic consumption of raw but not boiled Welsh onion juice inhibits rat platelet function.” J Nutr 2000 Jan;130(1):34-7


Cooking and Cancer

Cooked Meat
Heterocyclic amines, Fecal N-nitroso Compounds and Colorectal Cancer

From the Medical Research Council of the Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, UK comes a year 2000 estimate that “up to 80% of colorectal cancer is attributable to diet. Epidemiologically, cross-sectional comparisons, case-control studies and trends in food intake show high rates of colorectal cancer in populations consuming diets high in meat and fat, and low in starch, NSP (non-starch polysaccharides, fiber) and vegetables.” The cause? Mr Bingham attributes it to the generally accepted “formation of heterocyclic amines in meat when it is cooked.”


Furthermore, “high-meat diets increase the level of nitrosatable material entering the colon.” This material is the oft publicized N-nitroso compounds increase in a dose-responsive manner following endogenous synthesis in the colon.” 


Mutations and guanine adducts accumulated during colorectal cancer progression are characteristic of alkylative damage, which would be compatible with NOC exposure

Bingham SA, “Diet and colorectal cancer prevention.” Biochem Soc Trans 2000 Feb;28(2):12-6


Cancer Protection

Fruits, Vegetables, Olive and Seed Oils

From the Epidemiological Service of the Center for Oncological Referral in Aviano, Italy comes a 1999 report in the Annals of Oncology establishing (as so many prior studies have confirmed) the “significant trends of increasing breast and colorectal cancer risk” associated with increasing intakes of refined sugars, bread and pasta, pork and processed meats and potatoes (breast cancer only), cakes and desserts (colon-rectum cancers only). 


This clinical study involved 2569 women with incident breast cancer, 1953 subjects with cancer of the colon-rectum, and 5155 matched hospital controls between the years of 1991 and 1996. On the other hand, increasing amounts of fruits and vegetables in the diet had a reverse association overall, and specifically “carrots and raw vegetables seemed to lower breast cancer risk” while a “high fruit intake was associated with a reduction of rectal cancer.” And, in regards to fat, a “high intake of saturated fat seemed to lead to an increase of cancer risk” whereas “high intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (chiefly derived from olive oil and seed oils) were protective.”

Franceschi S, Favero A, “The role of energy and fat in cancers of the breast and colon-rectum in a southern European population.” Ann Oncol 1999;10 Suppl 6:61-3


Tomatoes and the Prostate

From the Mario Negri Institute of Pharacological Research in Milan, Italy is a year 2000 case-controlled study of dietary factors affecting the incidence of prostate cancer. They concluded that “the incidence of prostate cancer in Greece could be reduced by about two-fifths if the population increased the consumption of tomatoes and reduced the intake of dairy products, and substituted olive oil for other added lipids.” They reported the positive association of “dairy products, butter and seed oils” with the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked and raw tomatoes were shown to be protective.

Bosetti C, Tzonou A, Lagiou P, Negri E, Trichopoulos D, Hsieh CC, “Fraction of prostate cancer incidence attributed to diet in Athens, Greece.” Eur J Cancer Prev 2000 Apr;9(2):119-23


Fresh Fruit and Raw Vegetables and Gastric Cancer

Another year 2000 report from the Epidemiology Unit of the Careggi Hospital in Florence, Italy looked at gastric cancer.


Despite a dramatic reduction in incidence and mortality rates, gastric cancer is still one of the most common malignant neoplasias worldwide. A large number of studies have indicated that salted, smoked, pickled, and preserved foods (rich in salt, nitrite, and preformed N-nitroso compounds) are associated with an increased risk. While a high consumption of fresh fruit and raw vegetables and a high intake of antioxidants are associated with a reduced risk.

Palli D, “Epidemiology of gastric cancer: an evaluation of available evidence.” J Gastroenterol 2000;35 Suppl 12:84-9


Dietary Change Reactions


Detoxification Symptoms are frequently reported among those making major dietary changes, especially when moving from animal to vegetarian foods. These include headache, nausea, diarrhea, skin eruptions. The mechanism for the occurance of these symptoms is thought to be due to the release of toxins from various body storage depots. The concept of toxin storage is demonstrated in a number of pathological conditions. For example, gout is the result of uric acid crystal formation in distal and cooler toe joints as well as an occasional ear lobe where they are called tophi. Diabetic cataracts are formed by the deposition of inositol and sorbitol pathway sugar byproducts in the crystalline lens of the eye.

Vitamin B deficiency may be accelerated by high sugar consumption. Raw food diets may increase the risk of Vitamin D, zinc, and even calcium deficiency.

Diet by Name

Fruitarian – a diet composed of at least 75% fruit - the reproductive product of trees, vines, bushes. Fruitarians may supplement their diet with small amounts of sprouts and even leafy greens.

Raw Fooder – a diet consisting of at least 75% raw foods. Essentially a vegan diet, but can be lacto-vegetarian when raw dairy is consumed, or non- vegetarian when anyone is brave enough to ingest raw fish and meat.

Sproutarian – Very few people eat only sprouts, but one could be considered a sproutarian if their diet is predominantly composed of sprouts.

Living Fooder – is actually a version of sproutarianism. Ann Wigmore promotes a living fooder-vegan type diet concentrated on sprouts, raw fermented and blended foods. The Hippocrates Institute, founded by Brian Clement, and Gabriel Cousens both teach similar versions of the living foods diets.

Natural Hygiene - A diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, though most hygienists discourage a high percentage of fruit. The diet is usually vegan, but Tilden (co-founder of natural hygiene in modern times) encouraged use of non-vegetarian foods. There is wide spread disagreement on the use of sprouts, seaweeds, dried fruit, and even raw milk/cheese/eggs in the diet. The American Natural Hygiene Society claims to promote a predominantly raw diet, but allow for cooked grains and steamed vegetables in the diet as well.

Instinctive Eating – A.K.A. Anopsology espouses sequential mono-eating, guided by the senses of smell and taste to signal a need to stop eating. In practice, instincto diets focus on raw fruit, vegetables and optional seafood and meat, but excludes dairy foods and grains. The Paleolithic diet, is a recently popular version.

Essene diet is based on the Essene Gospels of Peace, which claims that Jesus was a member of the Essene sect, and a raw food vegetarian. The diet consists of raw sprouts, wheatgrass, vegetables, fruit, and raw and fermented dairy products making it more lacto-vegetarian than vegan.

Liquidarian – only practical as a short-term cleansing diet.


The reproductive parts of a vine, bush, or tree, including the juicy pulp

Technically, fruits include such traditional vegetables as bean/pea pods, avocado, tomato, bell/sweet pepper, cucumbers, and squash.

Fruits are the best tasting raw food.

Fruits are the most cleansing food available. Easiest foot to digest, allows deposited toxic metabolic byproducts of cooked foods to be eliminated by the body. Often resulting in a “crisis” reaction: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Frutarians are those who consume fruits predominately (75%) or exclusively.

Acid Fuits



Pomes (peaches, plums, apples, pears)

Vegetable Fuits


Tahitian Melon Squash supposedly tastes like a sweet cantelope




Hard, raw winter squash is reported to taste like dairy cheese when grated

Bell Peppers


Raw Seeds



Sprouted seeds are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods They are the food of the future, as well as a food of the past. The Old Testament prophet Daniel proved the power of pulse in recovering from his malnurished state in only 10 days.

Sprouts are predigested food, exhibiting higher biological value than unsprouted whole seeds, raw or cooked. As a consequence, less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and body tissues.

Unsprouted seeds, grains, cereals, and nuts not only have less nutrional value, but may not even be digestable in many cases.

The presence of antinutritional factors such as enzyme inhibitors, saponins, and tannins in raw legume seeds and other vegetables that renders them undigestable has been considered as an expression of the chemical warfare of plants against their predators.


Improving Bioavailability and Removing Antinutrients

The utilization of foods containing these antinutrients has been made possible historically through the use of cooking, fermentation, and germination. Each of these treatments tend to increase nutrient bioavailability. Cooking alters the biochemical structure of proteins including enzyme inhibitors because of the denaturing effects of heat. Fermentation degrades the structure of organic compounds through the effects of altered pH. The production of acetic acid during the production of kraut and pickles is responsible for their characteristic sour taste. Germination which occurs during the production of seed sprouts changes biochemical structure through enzymatic action.

“High-resolution structure of a potent, cyclic proteinase inhibitor from sunflower seeds.” J Mol Biol 1999 Jul 9;290(2):525-33 (ISSN: 0022-2836) Luckett S; Garcia RS; Barker JJ; Konarev AV; Shewry PR; Clarke AR; Brady RL Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.


Heat Resistant Enzyme Inhibitors

Cooking doesn’t always eliminate antinutrients. Seed extracts from legumes were used in a 1996 study conducted in Mexico to assess their effect in reducing the proteinase activity of serine and cysteine proteinases (protein digestive enzymes) such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and papain. This article is interesting in that it reports that the inhibitory capacity was maintained even after heating the seed extracts to 90 degrees C for 15 min. Evidently some biochemical structures are less heat labile than others. This may explain why legumes are more resistant to cooking as a means of eliminating the antinutrient effects of enzyme inhibitors such as flatulence and bloating.

“Proteinase inhibition of fish muscle enzymes using legume seed extracts.” J Food Prot 1996 Mar;59(3):312-8 (ISSN: 0362-028X) Garcia-Carreno FL; Navarrette Del Toro MA; Diaz-Lopez M; Hernandez-Cortes MP; Ezquerra JM Centro de Investigaciones Biologica del Noroeste, La Paz, Mexico. 


Heat and Acid Resistant Enzymes

A 1996 study of paprika plant seeds (Capsicum annuum) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences reported the isolation of several fractions demonstrating trypsin inhibitory activity. These proteinase inhibitors were also found to be resistant to heat up to 85 degrees C and to acidic conditions down to pH 2.0 and even to pepsin digestion.

Patthy A; Athanasiadis A; Tchorbanov B; Zakhariev S; Pongor S, “Primary structure and specificity of a serine proteinase inhibitor from paprika (Capsicum annuum) seeds.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1996 Nov 14;1298(1):95-101 (ISSN: 0006-3002) Antcheva N;


Thermostable Tannins

The same degree of heat tolerance applies to other antinutrients like tannins. Yet some thermostable factors are not destroyed by seed processing that involves the use of heat. One of these is a family of polymeric polyphenols called tannins. These substances are actually pigments with the ability to precipitate proteins and inhibit digestive enzymes.

Carmona A, “Tannins: thermostable pigments which complex dietary proteins and inhibit digestive enzymes.” Archives of Latin-American Nutrition 1996 Dec;44(4 Suppl 1):31S-35S (ISSN: 0004-0622) Escuela de Biologia, Universidad Central de Venezuela.


Roasting Beans Reduces Antinutrients

In Mexico, researches reported that roasting beans reduced their phytate content by 35% and their protein inhibitors by 96%. But, when roasted in their shells, the tannin concentration actually increased from 12.4 to 236 mg equivalents of catheuine/100g. This was thought to be the result of transferring the higher concentrations of tannin in the shell to the bean itself. When shelled beans were roasted the tannin concentration indeed fell by 88.6%.

Alanis Guzman MG, Gonzalez Quijada MR, Mercado Hernandez R , “Effect of cooking on the chemical and nutritional value of the Pithecellobium flexicaule (Bent) seed.” Archives of Latin-American Nutrition 1998 Dec;48(4):328-33


Germination Deactivates Inhibitors

Germination also deactivates enzyme inhibitors by leaching them out of the seed

(grains, nuts) through the osmotic effects of hydration.

Anti-trypsinase and other anti-proteinases are more popularly referred to as proteinase inhibitors. These compounds have gained a great deal of attention in recent years as important adjuncts to HIV treatment protocols. A significant side-benefit of all the intensive research in this area is the role that enzyme inhibitors and the enzymes they inhibit play during seed germination.

Uninhibited seed enzymes break down or digest concentrated seed starch into simpler carbohydrates and sugars, and storage proteins into free amino acids in preparation for seed sprouting and embryonic plant growth.


Walnut Protein Allergy

One advantage of using germination as a seed processing method is the digestive action of the seed’s enzymes on allergenic proteins. For example, walnuts which rank third in per capita consumption of tree nuts in the United States contain a major food allergen. Consequently, walnuts are associated with systemic IgE-mediated reactions in some individuals. Perhaps you’ve noticed the bitter taste of walnuts. It comes from the tannin pigment in the walnut skins. But the allergic reaction experienced by susceptible persons is due to one of the proteins contained in the nut meat. A 1998 report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology identified the culprit substance as an albumin seed storage protein precursor closely related to a similar allergen found in the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa).

Teuber SS; Dandekar AM; Peterson WR; Sellers CL, “Cloning and sequencing of a gene encoding a 2S albumin seed storage protein precursor from English walnut (Juglans regia), a major food allergen.” J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998 Jun;101(6 Pt 1):807-14

Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, USA.


Soaking walnuts is beneficial in two ways. First, tannins are leached out improving the nut’s flavor appeal. Second, removal of the enzyme inhibitors allows the seed to begin germination activities which includes enzymatic digestion of the storage proteins. Since the offending allergen is a seed storage protein, it is biochemically altered by the enzymes into safe nonallergenic subcomponents.



Some vitamins increase during sprouting by as much as 500% In wheat, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increases 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples. Fiber content increases three to four times.


Dry seeds, grains, and legumes contain no vitamin C. But after sprouting, they contain around 6 milligrams per ounce. In fact, sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, and many B vitamins (such as folacin). For example, Vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and compared to some other beans more than eight times more.


After harvesting sprouts and refrigerate them, they continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Store-bought fruits and vegetables start losing their vitamins as soon as they are picked.


When enzymes are in our food, the body is allowed to produce essential molecularstructures instead of emergency digestive enzymes. When natural enzymes are missing in ingested food the body is forced to produce large amounts of digestive enzymes. Pancrease, thyroid, salivary glands hypertrophy in animals fed cooked foods.Aging reduces the stomach’s ability to produce hydrochloric acid (New England Journal of Medicine 85; 313: 70-74); by age 65, near 35% don’t produce any hydrochloric acid at all.





You just can’t discuss legumes and avoid this topic. Beans are notorius for flatulence. But gas may be reduced by rinsing sprouts just before eating to remove oligosaccharides, the surface sugars that some have identified as at least one culprit.


Turmeric and ginger may be added to sprouts to assist in protein digestion.

Add anti-gas fenugreek, cumin, dill, and coriander seeds to sprouting legumes. Fenugreek is best with fast growing mung beans.


Fennel seed 1 teaspoon of powder 15-30 minutes before a legume meal, taken with warm water. The asian indian custom of chewing the licorice-tasting fennel seeds at the end of a meal is based on centuries of experience in the knowledge that this practice is an effect aid in protein digestion.

Cardamom and caraway seeds can be added just before serving.


Soaking Improves Pea Digestability

From the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the Haryana Agricultural University in Hisar, India comes a report on the protein digestability of peas. Raw unprocessed seeds were found to be only 60 to 66 percent digestible. This was improved, not only by ordinary cooking but also by soaking for 18 hours and sprouting.

“Protein digestability of vegetables and field peas (Pisum sativum). Varietal differences and effect

of domestic processing and cooking methods.” Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1994 Jul;46(1):71-6


Mung Beans

Easiest to digest, and produce a minimum amount of gas.

Has carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry. But they have only 3 types of amino acids, while soybeans have 17.


Soy Beans

Theoretically edible if sprouted long enough, are difficult or unsafe to eat raw.


Large Beans

Lima, pinto, navy (white), black have a very strong, unpleasant flavor when raw which is not improved by sprouting.


Kidney beans are actually toxic if eaten raw.

Cooking sprouted large legumes eliminates flatulence, produces a normal flavor, reduces cooking time.




Raw hulled sunflower seeds can be sprouted: soak 12 hours, pour off hulls to avoid spoilage, and sprout for 1-2 days.


Unsprouted sunflower seeds are high in fat and protein. Sprouting activates the seed by leeching out enzyme inhibitors, increasing enzyme levels, converting seed fats to essential fatty acids and carbohydrates, and converting proteins to essential amino acids and/or sugars.


Sprouted sunflower seeds may be dehydrated to produce the familiar crunchy texture most of us are used to. Adding salt to the last water change will produce a pleasant taste in the final dried sprouts.


Unhulled sunflower seeds are generally grown for 7 days to produce sunflower greens.Sunflower greens have a slightly salty taste like watercress. Rich in chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, proteins, lecithin and Vitamin D



Common in Indian cuisine, this seed aids in digestion. It sprouts readily and quickly but frequently contains rock hard seeds that won’t sprout. These can be separated to the bottom by soaking in water.



'Lady Godiva' variety doesn’t have the hard shell seen in most pumpkins. They will sprout but become rancid quickly (often in less than 2 days) unless they are dehydrated which is really preferred. If not dehydrated they should be soaked and refrigerated.



Hulled seeds won’t sprout. Unhulled seeds sprout easily in 1-2 days. Hulls contain oxylate (a bitter tasting anti-nutrient) than can be reduced significantly by soaking and rinsing. Sesame seed oil is heating when applied topically.



Flax seed oil is very expensive and spoils quickly, so much be refrigerated. Flax is a rich source of omega-3 and –6 fatty acids.



Soaking nuts (even if they can’t be sprouted) will remove some of the tannins in their skins, improving their flavor and digestability.



sprouted almonds are very delicious, and have much better flavor than dry, unsprouted almonds. Blanched almonds probably won't sprout: use only whole, unblanched almonds.


1 day suggested, after 2 days may turn rancid. Almond sprout is a “whole food.” Eat the whole thing, including skin. Raw, unsoaked almond skins are high in tannins, hard to digest, and very astringent: peel the sprouts before eating. Easiest after soaking underwater. Peeled almond sprouts really taste wonderful

Sprouts may be dehydrated from an optionally salted final rinse to produce marvelous, crunchy almonds very similar to the freeze-dried vacuum packed varieties.



Raw, unblanched peanuts are sproutable and taste better than dry, unsprouted ones.


Blanched nuts are treated with heat and/or chemicals, and don't sprout reliably.

Can harbor carcinogenic toxic molds (aflatoxin).



Not sproatable. Shelled nuts are devitalized by processing


Processing renders them non-viable, so not sproutable



Not sproutable, can be soaked which improves flavor, removing bitter taste quality and softens nut.

Dehydrating after soaking makes them wonderfully crisp and crunching.


Brazil Nuts

Shelled nuts are devitalized by boiling process. Buy only in-shell, and shell manually



A tropical tree in the plant family Anacardiacae (includes mango, pistachio, and poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac). The edible “nut” must be separated from the toxic shell through a process that involves immersion in a hot oil bath at 170-200 deg C. This renders it devitalized and, consequently, is not sproutable.



Most are imported from Europe (the European chestnut). Chestnuts have the lowest fat content of all major nuts (4-6%) which means they contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates (starch and sugar). As a result, they may spoil quickly, and should be refrigerated or frozen for storage. Usually sold in-shell.


Filberts (Hazelnuts)

Not viable, soaking has little effect on shelled nut.


Macadamia Nuts

Most are freeze dried and non-viable. Unprocessed nuts require 30-60+ days to sprout in-shell. This extremely progracted sprouting time means they might be rancid or rotten by the time the root sprout finally appears.



If you think Macadamia nuts take a long time, coconuts take the cake. They require 4 or more months to sprout! Supermarket coconuts probably won’t sprout because they are usually picked too green. You’ll need a fresh, mature raw nut with its husk intact. But, if you are able to manage it, sprouted coconuts are edible, and considered a delicacy


Sprouting Times

Type of seed amt soak time sprout time amt harvested
Aduki 1 cup 12 hrs 3 days half gallon
alfalfa 3 tsp 110 hrs 3 days half gallon
almond 1 cup 8 hrs 2 days 2 cups
buckwheat 2 cups 10 hrs 2 days half gallon
cabbage 3 tsp 8 hrs 3 days half gallon
clover 2 tsp 8 hrs 3 days half gallon
fenugreek 4 tsp 10 hrs 4 days half gallon
flax 1 cup 8 hrs 2 days 2 cups
garbanzo 1 cup 12 hrs 2 days half gallon
lentil 1 cup 10 hrs 2 days half gallon
millet 1 cup 10 hrs 2 days half gallon
mung 1 cup 12 hrs 2 days half gallon
oat groat 2 cups 8 hrs 1 day half gallon
pea 1 cup 10 hrs 2 days half gallon
quinoa 1 cup 8 hrs 2 days half gallon
radish 3 tsp 8 hrs 2 days half gallon
sesame 1 cup 8 hrs 2 days half gallon
sunflower 2 cups 12 hrs 2 days half gallon
wheat 2 cups 12 hrs 2 days half gallon
wild rice 1 cup 12 hrs 4 days half gallon



Cooked Food Withdrawal

Those who try a Live Food diet for the first time will almost invariably experience a sense of deprivation. “I miss my dead food,” they cry and abandon their quest for pure nutrition by promptly selling out like Esau for “a mess of pottage.” I certainly suffered during my first few weeks. My wife was my only salvation—a constant, vigilant, encouraging partner in crime to remind me of our lofty goals and aspirations.

Even after some months of experiencing the wonderful benefits of living high on live foods, the urge to “lust after the flesh pots of Egypt” would suddenly erupt. Fortunately, such temptations are very short-lived, and will become progressively weaker as your satisfaction with Live Food grows and you expand your repetroire of live food dishes. When you limit yourself to manna (as marvelous as it may be) meal after meal, you just might not manage to make it on that alone.

Discovering a significant number of delicious dishes that you really like and witnessing first hand the results of Eden Eatin’in your own body are the two best safeguards against falling off the raw food wagon. But for those who are still desperate for help in dealing with the fear of backsliding, here are few additional suggestions:

1. Stop and Think. Sure, that pizza or those french fries are going to taste good, but taste isn’t everything. It's not worth the suffering that is sure to follow. The problem with eating dead stuff routinely is that you don’t recognize the ill feeling that comes from any particular food—it’s all suboptimal and you’ve been feeling the results for so long you’ve come to accept it as “normal.” But give your body time to get rid of all the built-up toxic waste, enjoy a month or two of pain-free existance (no headaches, no constipation, no bloating, no heartburn), and then indulge in your favorite forbidden food. You will be dramatically impressed by the reaction. Now, share your experience to one and all to reinforce your memory.

2. Substitute live foods. Fruit, especially dried fruits with their concentrated flavors, are super substitutes for candy. Tomatoes have a high concentration of sodium and will satisfy cravings for salty foods. Some who previously found tomatoes disagreeable, have reported that removing the seeds (and their associated anti-nutrients) solved their problem of indigestion. Avocados and nuts or seeds provide the satiety benefits to those who miss their cheese and fried foods.

3. Avoid temptation. Madison Avenue has conditioned us for most of our lives to salivate when we see or smell one of their tempting products, cleverly formulated to stimulate our addictive behaviors and promote repeat sales. If you feel a craving crawling over you when you see that particular morsel (candy, cookie, or cassarole) then don’t look at it! As Pooh observed, you can get ‘see sick’ from seeing too much. I’ve delivered that kind of common sense advice to countless patients over many years of practice: if it hurts, don’t do it. Today, I’d say, “Don’t even go there.”

4. Eat slowly and sensibly – Eat only a moderate amount of food at regular times with no distractions, chewing slowly to receive full benefit of your food’s flavor. Savor the all the taste and texture. This is only common sense, but it can remarkably reduce unwanted cravings.

5. Eat with other raw fooders. Enthusiasm loves company and mutual encouragement.

6. Regular exercise reduces stress, improves circulation and elimination, is cleansing, and helps reduce cravings.

7. Develop a spiritual or ethical foundation. For the religious, this means being fully “grounded” in your religion. The non-religious can adopt or develop a guiding philosophy of life, or a system of ethics.

8. Consider modifying your diet. If you are following an extremely restricted diet and constant cravings continually stalk you, then seriously consider changing to a more diversified diet. Add more veggies, sprouts, and seeds or nuts to your diet.

If you do backslide and eat something bad, simply resolve to avoid the mistake next time. Learn from your mistakes, but don't dwell on them unnecessarily, as guilt is a negative emotion. Cravings can be a major problem during the transition to a raw/living foods diet. After you have been on such a diet long enough, the cravings will usually dissipate. Although the goal of 100% raw is advocated by some raw-fooders, the reality is that a pure raw food diet is not for everyone. Be kind to your self; do what is best for your body, whether the diet you follow conforms to raw-food dogma or not.