There are no laws or regulation within any industry to make a claim that something is raw. The general consensus is food – meat, fruits, veggies, grains, and dairy that is unprocessed and never exposed or destroyed by heat over 120 degrees, will have enzymes and nutrients still active and be considered raw and “live”.
Raw foods are amazing and we do not eat enough of them. Part of the reason we are in such poor health is that, as a nation, we eat too many cooked and highly processed foods.
There are amazing raw food and lifestyle educators out there and I have learned so much from them over the years and continue to do so. My lifestyle incorporates as much food as possible from raw and unprocessed sources.
I take supplements because I believe prevention is key to living an energetic, long, healthy, disease free life. I know my good diet is only going to get me so far in this day and age.
So what about raw food vitamins? Makes sense right? But, wait, who said that a vitamin could be called raw? And what does that even mean?
The companies that promote and market their supplements (in this case capsules and tablets) as “raw”, are really only telling you part of the story. Their whole story actually goes something like this: USP (United States Pharmacopeia) vitamins have been fed to a yeast preparation which produces a “food-like” substance. Then, in most cases, some form of food in small quantities are added to the “food-like” substance, and those are pressed into pills. Since we are assuming everything is being processed under 120 degrees, the same standard that has been used for foods, that “qualifies” them as raw, we are lead to believe these are better for us.
Raw whole food ingredients are great to have in supplements, but don’t discount well researched high quality USP (United States Pharmacopeia) vitamins, as they are still tried and true. You could argue that they are “bio-identical” to what our body knows as vitamins. They offer a safe and long history of well documented therapeutic benefits. The “raw” or “food-like” supplements may be here to stay, but their science is very new compared to “regular” USP vitamins.
Keep in mind, the quality of what you buy is what you are going to get out of it. Know your company, know their processes, know their integrity, and you will reap the benefits of your supplements being absorbed and utilized. For guidelines to use when purchasing supplements check out our buying and taking supplement series in our supplement category.