After nine years of living the raw vegan lifestyle, my children perceived the need to fit in with their peers and began experimenting with cooked and processed foods as well as vegetarian animal products. They quickly became ill after nine years of excellent health. They also needed much more sleep than when eating raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. I noticed their energy and motivation diminish. Loss of energy is usually one of the first signs that your child’s diet is not working.
2. Skin Problems
The skin is often looked at as a separate organ, but it is directly linked to the large intestine. A skin issue is a digestive issue, a gut imbalance, a problem of low stomach acid. Diets high in animal-based food, and cooked and processed food over time will cause chronic irritation of the intestinal lining. This subtle inflammation will result in the thinning of the wall of the small intestine. Undigested protein molecules and food toxins then escape through the thinning wall of the small intestine and begin to circulate in the bloodstream, attacking different organs. The body desperately tries to eliminate these toxins through the skin. The skin is the first avenue of defense. When someone is experiencing skin breakouts or has a skin disorder, his/her body is still vital and attempting to cleanse the toxic matter.
3. Brain Fog
When foods and toxins are not properly digested, they can be the cause of many problems in the many systems of the body. As a speech and language pathologist, I work with children who are labelled with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and Autism. I find that many of these children have gastrointestinal disturbances. When food is toxic and the body is unable to digest it, the result can be what has been called the gut-brain barrier, as there is a very fine connection between the gut and the brain. I would also add that medicines are also toxic to the body. Our body naturally produces extra white blood cells in response to the toxins, and eventually inflammation develops. Starchy food, especially processed starch from glutinous grains, has the potential to cause excessive bacteria in the gut resulting in Candida, intestinal gas, mental confusion, fatigue and erratic behavior associated with Attention Deficit Disorder.
4. Allergic Reactions
The majority of the medical complaints of western society would be eradicated by eliminating specific known food allergens, particulary wheat and other glutinous grains, corn, dairy, peanuts, yeast, eggs and soy. I have seen tremendous improvement in children’s allergic conditions, ability to focus and learn, and overall immunity when taking these foods out of the diet. My son had multiple food allergies, chronic ear infections, and asthma as a young baby. Even my breastmilk caused him this condition. When I changed to a diet high in fruits and vegetables for myself and my two children in 1994, then he was able to heal from this mucus condition in eleven months.
5. Weight Gain or Weight Loss
My raw vegan children grew more slowly than other children because they weren’t fed the growth hormones present in today’s dairy and animal foods. However, they were growing at a slower, more normal rate even though they were at the lower end of the growth charts. Our wonderful pediatrician informed me not to be concerned as the children were growing and gaining weight. He told my children, “Listen to your mom. She knows what she’s talking about with nutrition.”
If your child is either gaining a significant amount of weight or losing weight, this is reason for concern. Obesity has doubled in the United States since the 1970s. I can guarantee you it’s not due to the families who are eating mostly fruits and vegetables. If weight loss is the problem, then something is very wrong. I have worked with families in which children weren’t given enough calories from fresh fruit. The raw vegan diet followed haphazardly can result in problems and deficiencies. When we understand the best raw food nutrition for children and teenagers, then we can experience healthy families.
Karen Ranzi, M.A.