A number of monks and hermits have believed that a raw food diet helps them with their spiritual growth due to the discipline it requires, including John of Egypt, Saint Francis Of Assisi, and the Ethiopian monk Qozmos.
Other people have experienced a number of spiritual benefits when on a raw food diet, including people who say such a diet helps open your chakras and your spiritual vibration. Maximilian Bircher-Benner, the Swiss physician who pioneered raw foodism, believed that raw foods had a greater amount of vital force (or sunlight) that was necessary to nourish the body properly.
There are a number of reasons that people may consider a partially or fully raw food approach to their diet, and one of these is their spiritual practices. Many people believe that a raw food diet can help with spiritual growth. If you’re hoping to learn more about the link between raw foods and spirituality, you’re in the right place – this article will cover all you need to know.
What is the Link Between Food and Spirituality?
Food is deeply connected to religion and spirituality. It plays an important part in religious ceremonies around the world, and has an intricate connection to your spiritual growth. The way you experience food is also the way you experience life – if you deprive yourself of pleasure in life, you probably also don’t consume nourishing and pleasurable foods.
The right diet can allow you to grow in all aspects of your life. If you’re no longer losing energy due to a diet heavy with processed and junk foods, you have higher energy levels that you can use to focus on other parts of your life, including your spiritual side.
Additionally, many belief systems are intricately linked to the way you eat – for example, Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism encourage vegetarian diets because of the harm eating meat and fish causes to other animals.
Jewish dietary laws require eating kosher, while Muslims must eat halal foods.
Given these factors, it’s undeniable that the way you eat is also linked to your spirituality and spiritual development.
What Do Religions Say About Raw Foods?
There are no traditional religions that specifically advocate for a raw food diet. However, there are many writings that suggest that raw foods play an important part in traditional religious traditions as well as modern spiritual beliefs.
The Essene Gospel Of Peace is a book written by Hungarian linguist Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, which he said was based on an ancient manuscript he discovered. Part of the Christian tradition, believers of the veracity of the gospel say that it contains Jesus’s true teachings on diet – specifically, that he advocated for a vegetarian diet.
Specifically, it states that people should “eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed.” Adherents believe means that this specifically means he promoted a raw vegan diet, as cooked food would have been “destroyed by fire.”
Additionally, the Bible states that God told Man that he has dominion over “every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it” as food. Again, many Christians believe this means that the Bible is advocating a vegan diet, though not necessarily a raw vegan one.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church also recommends that people follow a vegan diet. The Seventh-day Adventist community in Loma Linda, California, is the only “Blue Zone” in the United States – one of the healthiest and longest-living populations in the world.
As mentioned above, Islam and Judaism feature specific food-related rules. However, these rules have to do with food preparation and do not advocate for raw or vegan diets.
Hinduism advocates for vegetarianism, and specifically prohibits the eating of beef, as cows are considered sacred. However, it says nothing about consuming dairy-based products.
What Do People Say About Spirituality and Raw Food?
Aside from the literature mentioned above, there are numerous accounts of people who believe that eating raw foods helps with their spiritual growth. This includes prominent Christian saints, hermits, and theologians.
- John of Egypt: John of Egypt lived on a diet of dried fruit and vegetables for fifty years, eating no bread or cooked food. He lived into his nineties and was believed to have spiritual gifts, including the gift of prophecy.
- Qozmos: The Ethiopian monk Qozmos, who lived during the 1300s, ate only raw foods because he believed the commitment required for such a diet helped him spiritually. He was so dedicated to his diet that he refused to eat the bread of the Eucharist, which is cooked. He ultimately had to leave his monastery because of this and moved to live with the Beta Israel Jewish community.
- St. Francis of Assisi: Though St. Francis did not eat a solely raw diet, he claimed in one of his writings that if he ever ate cooked foods, he would mix them with ashes to prevent overeating or becoming too habituated to such foods.
Aside from historical figures, numerous people today have said they have experienced spiritual benefits by eating raw or raw vegan. This includes feeling more connected to the earth and developing a deeper connection to nature, as well as experiencing a sense of gratitude for each meal.
Furthermore, the additional vital/light energy provided by raw foods can help you achieve a higher state of consciousness and gain a better understanding of your mind and emotions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Raw Food Diets and Spirituality
• Can you only eat foods that are raw?
In general, it is possible to have a solely raw food diet. However, it is always recommended to incorporate at least some cooked foods in your meals for a healthy diet, as there are certain foods that can only be eaten after cooking.
Additionally, you should always pay attention to health notices about foods – people who have a raw food diet are more susceptible to food-borne diseases, as bacteria that cause such illnesses are killed in the cooking process.
So, if you’re primarily eating foods that are raw, like fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure you’re aware of any recall notices that may be issued.
If you live in an area where it is dangerous to eat only raw foods, consider increasing the amount of these foods in your diet where possible, and trying to incorporate a “raw food week” (one week of only eating raw) per month, safety permitting.
• How does raw food affect your physical body?
It’s undeniable that your physical body and physical health affect your spiritual life. Eating more raw foods can help remove toxins from your body, boost your energy levels, help you lose weight, have a healthier sleep pattern, and make your skin better.
Additionally, people note that they find it easier to stay motivated and think positive thoughts.
All of this can be channeled into being more productive, including spiritually productive. You will also find it easier to include spiritual habits in your daily routine, such as meditation.