|Mexican papaya with strawberries.|
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It's Spring - Time to Increase Raw Food Intake
I'm not a proponent of a 100% raw food diet, but I do believe having adequate amounts of raw food in your diet is extremely important for good health. In the winter, we crave warm, cooked foods but I still try to eat at least a third of my food raw. Now that spring is here (I realize some of you are still getting some nasty weather but hang in there, it will come soon!), it's time to up our intake of raw food. I aim for about 50% in the spring.
Raw foods are rich in phytochemicals, many of which are destroyed by cooking (except for some carotenoids). Vitamin C and essential fatty acids are also heat sensitive and are better consumed in raw foods. And although there is some debate as to the significance of their contribution to human digestion, raw foods are alive and rich with enzymes.
Salads made with fruits, nuts and seeds are a great way to add raw food to the diet. They can be part of any meal or enjoyed as a dessert. Today I'm making a Mexican papaya salad with a few strawberries tossed in a simple poppy seed dressing. This recipe is suitable for a Raw Food Cleanse.
Mexican papaya are a deeper orange than the ones we get from Hawaii and can be much larger. Besides being a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate and other vitamins and minerals, they contain papain, an enzyme that aids in digestion. Papaya is also high in dietary fiber.
And don't throw out the seeds - they make a nice, peppery salad dressing. Check out Raw Fruit and Greens with Papaya Seed Dressings and 10 Interesting Things to Know about Papaya.
One cup provides:
only 55 calories
144% DV of vitamin C
31% DV of vitamin A
2.5 g dietary fiber
* * * *
Mexican papaya salad with strawberries in a poppy seed dressing
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 4 servings]
4 cups diced papaya (peeled and seeds removed)
4 large strawberries, tops removed and sliced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Place papaya and strawberries in a medium size bowl.
In a small bowl or cup, mix together the lime juice, agave nectar and poppy seeds until well incorporated.
Pour over the fruit and toss gently until combined. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 78 calories, 0.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 48 g omega-3 and 128 g omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber and 5 mg of sodium.