Brigitte Mars is her own best advertisement for her book Rawsome! Maximizing Health, Energy and Culinary Delight With the Raw Foods Diet (Basic Health Publications). At 57, the Boulder, Colo.-based herbalist is lithe and toned, with clear blue eyes, smooth skin and luxurious long hair—and an unwavering upbeat attitude. As a longtime holistic healer who’s written 13 books about herbs (her latest, The Sexual Herbal: Prescriptions for Enhancing Love and Passion, was published in December), Mars has tried plenty of health-oriented diet plans, including macrobiotics and veganism. When she started incorporating raw foods into her diet in 2000, Mars quickly noticed an increase in her energy and a marked improvement in her overall health—and she’s been sold on raw ever since. “I’ve never seen such great results,” she raves. “Raw food helped me get younger, smarter and more beautiful!”
Raw food enthusiasts like Mars extol a diet rich in fruits, nuts and vegetables—foods that offer an incredible array of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients no matter how you slice, dice or sauté them. But when they’re served raw—that is to say, not heated above 114° F—they also deliver a benefit you can’t find anywhere else: enzymes.