KIM McCreery has worked in
the natural health industry for the last six years and is passionate about
nutrition and herbal remedies.

Increasing
the amount of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet is one of the
most effective ways to gain more energy, lose excess weight and improve the
condition of the skin, hair and nails.

These
foods that are raw contain more vitamins and minerals and are easier for the
stomach to digest than when they are cooked as cooking destroys the enzymes
which are what give us energy. This is one of the reasons why people feel
energised after eating an apple but tired after a Sunday dinner.

Here
are some good ways to incorpo­rate more raw foods into your diet: • Increasing
the amount of raw vegetables and salad in your diet such as carrots, cucumber,
watercress, rocket, lettuce and celery can make a big difference to a per­sons
weight pretty quickly. Avocados are very good for the health and go very nice­ly
with salads


Substituting sugar for fruit is a great way to deal with sugar cravings. Any
fruit is better than cane sugar but the best fruits for weight-loss are lemons,
raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, fresh figs, grape­fruit and ripe pears.
Avoid unripe fruit as this is more difficult for the stomach to digest.

• Raw unsalted nuts such as
almonds, brazils, walnuts and cashews are great as a snack or in salads or with
fruit at break­fast. Many people avoid nuts with the belief they make you put
on weight. However, the nuts are a great source of protein and contain
essential fats which are used by the nervous system and skin. It is sugar that
is converted to fat straight away but this has no nutrition and so is stored on
the body as excess fat.

• Making smoothies and juicing
are both brilliant ways to get the benefits of raw foods. If you have a blender
a lovely smoothie recipe is a handful of spinach, juice of half a lemon, a
small avocado or half a big one, and a ripe banana. Add some water and a bit of
good quality fruit juice and blend until you get the right con­sistency.
Spinach is the mildest green (and cucumbers) so although it looks green it
tastes like fruit.


A juicer is brilliant to have as when you juice fruit and vegetables all the
nutrition can get into your system very easily. You can juice any fruit or
vegetable although some juice better than others. Here’s a juice recipe;
cucumber, two carrots, two sticks of celery, half a lemon (peeled first) and an
apple. It’s important to add some water to your juice as it makes them less
sugary. Jacksons of Saintfield have an excellent juicer that is half price at the
moment as this is where I got mine.

Lastly,
it can really make a difference to use organic fruit and vegetables when you
are eating them raw as the pesticide is more harmful in conventionally grown
ones when they are uncooked. There are also more vitamins and minerals in organ­ic
produce and it tastes great. I sometimes drink unpasteurised goats milk which
has several health benefits over pasteurized cows milk like improving
digestion and the

skin. Although some people
eat raw fish and meat I really don’t recommend this as it increases the risk of
food poisoning.

If you would like to know more about raw
foods and health feel free to e-mail kimmccreery@live.co.uk.