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Benefits of Uncooked Foods 

Eating more raw foods may aid in weight loss. Some research shows the amount of food we eat is partially regulated by volume — when stretch receptors in the stomach and intestines are activated, we feel full. Foods rich in water, like fruits and vegetables, have fewer calories relative to their volume, possibly bringing on a sense of satisfaction with fewer calories. Another theory is that the body continues to search for nutrients when we eat junk food, leading to increased calorie consumption. Keep in mind that not all raw foods are low in calories — nuts are among the most calorie-dense foods.

A diet based on fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds and grains is naturally high in fiber. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar, helps lower cholesterol and hastens the flow of food through the digestive system. (Plant-based foods contain no cholesterol and generally low levels of saturated fats.)
If you do cook, keep in mind that steaming foods maintains the most nutrients — but be careful not to over-steam. And soups cooked at low temperatures maintain many nutrients

RECIPE: Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Curry Dressing

This dressing is perfectly suited for a spinach salad with fresh fruits like berries, apple, pear and grapes. I also like to add spiced walnuts.

1 cup walnuts (soaked at least 6 hours)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dates, agave or honey
1 tablespoon curry powder
Cayenne pepper powder, to taste
Water, as needed

If using dates, soak in just enough water to cover for ½ hour.  This step is not necessary, but it will help the dates blend in better. Strain and rinse the walnuts. Place dates with their soak water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, adding water as needed for desired consistency. Add more or less cayenne depending on your personal tastes.

Spiced Walnuts

Raw walnuts (preferably soaked and dehydrated, any amount)
Raw honey, agave or maple syrup, in the desired amount
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional)

Combine walnuts, sweetener and cinnamon in a bowl. Add enough sweetener to the walnuts to coat them and mix well. If desired, place the walnuts a few at a time in a small bowl of shredded coconut, using a spoon to aid in coating the walnuts. Enjoy as a snack or on a salad.

— Sarah Edwards, Chakraw Living Foods

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