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Question: I've heard that all foods should be eaten raw as cooked foods have lost all their enzymes and cannot support health. I was taught cooked foods stick to the walls of your digestive treat crating hard, rubbery "gook" and mucous that can only be removed by colonics.

Answer: The enzymes needed for proper digestion is supplied by our body, not by the food eaten. Our body has the ability to analyze the food and secrete the precise proportion and amount of enzyme needed for that particular food. We have to rely on the body’s genius to get just the right amount, not too much and not too little. Enzymes in plants are put there for the plants needs, not ours, but some plant enzymes do have nutritive benefits, not functional benefits. Some nutrients, photochemical and enzymes which have photochemical benefits are lost or destroyed in high heat cooking but many are also made more absorbable by cooking. Water-based cooking as in soups, steaming, and cooking in a pressure cooker results in very little loss of nutrients and a significant increase in the absorption of phytochemicals. To fear eating a steamed vegetable, or vegetable/bean soup is entirely unfounded and without scientific support.

Plaques of mucous do not build up on the wall of our guts from cooked foods. Actually, thousand of people undergo colonoscopies each day, never do we see any build up on the wall of the gut. I have performed my own scoping for years and have never seen any build up in people, nor did I find it in cadavers in medical school or in the morgue. However, certain alternative medicine practices are potentially harmful such as ingesting bentonite clay which can be adherent and solidify in the colon. I agree with the message of the raw food community that raw food is essential for good health and I agree that certain type of cooking is potentially harmful, especially fried foods, browned and burnt foods and baked goods. The disagreement comes when you claim that steaming a vegetable will hurt you, your diet should be 100 percent raw and nothing should be eaten cooked. Then you are diminishing the nutritional quality of your diet and overly restricting yourself without merit or benefit.

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