What Is A Raw Food Diet?
The concept of a raw food diet is been here since the 1800s, but in recent years it is gaining more attention. Here we are discussing what a raw food diet is and what the health benefits of it are.
What is a Raw Food Diet?
The raw food diets also called raw foodyism or raw veganism.
Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a doctor, found out that the concept of a raw food Diet was able to treat his jaundice by eating raw apples in 1800s.
This diet is mainly composed of completely raw and unprocessed foods.
A raw food is the meal never heated over 104–118 degrees F (40–48 degrees C).
It is not refined, pasteurized, engineered, processed in any manner with pesticides.
The raw food diet is based on plants, consisting mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, similar to veganism.
If you are on a raw food diet, taking supplements is discouraged.
Why People Opt For Raw Food?
A woman on weight loss, Credits: pixabay
People who opt for raw food believe that cooking food is harmful as it destroys the natural enzymes in foods. It also reduces the nutrient content and diminishes the “life force” that they believe to exist in all raw or “living” foods.
People who consume raw foods believe it has lots of advantages including weight loss, increased energy, and improved overall health.
Are You Interested In A Raw Food Diet?
Fresh fruits and vegetables, Credits: pixabay
If you are interested in consuming a raw food diet, here are things you should know.
If you wish to have a raw food diet, make sure that 75% of the food you eat is raw.
A raw food diet mainly contains fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Grains and legumes should be sprouted before you eat.
These are the list of raw foods to eat.Foods to Eat
Foods To Avoid
All raw vegetables
Raw nuts and seeds
Raw grains and legumes, sprouted or soaked
Dried fruits and meats
Raw nut butter
Cold-pressed olive and coconut oils
Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut
Raw eggs or dairy, if desired
Raw meat or fish, if desired
Other organic, natural, or unprocessed foods
Purified water but not tap water
Cooked fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains
Roasted nuts and seeds
Refined sugars and flour
Pasteurized juices and dairy
Coffee and tea, and alcohol
Other processed foods and snacks
A Simple Raw Food Recipe-Quickest Raw Pesto
A man and woman cooking, Credits: pixabay
A raw food diet involves preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking, and sprouting.
3 cups packed leafy greens, any kind
1/3 cup raw nuts or seeds
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
Juice from ½ a lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until it turns smooth, add water if the mixture is too dry. Add salt, lemon juice, and oil to taste. You can serve this with veggies, or use as a spread on raw crackers.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Raw Foods?
Though both raw and cooked foods hold health benefits, people who consume raw foods believe that the enzymes present in raw foods help in digestion and health.
Raw foods mainly contain vegetables and fruits that are rich in nutrients and fibers.
As raw foods do not contain any processed foods, they contribute to better health.
Raw foods are low in calories, hence weight loss is possible.
Cooking can decrease the nutrients in foods like vitamins B and C. But in raw foods, the nutrients remain as such. The advantages of consuming cooked foods are it increases the availability of nutrients and antioxidants like lycopene and beta carotene. Also, cooking helps deactivate the harmful substances in the food.
Tooth erosion, Credits: pixabay
A raw food diet is low in calories and certain nutrients.
Studies identified that a raw food diet lowered blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, it also lowered “healthy” HDL cholesterol levels and led to a vitamin-B12 deficiency.
People who follow a raw diet over periods had an increased risk of tooth erosion.
Some women who followed a raw food diet experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle.
Due to a low calorie and low protein intake, people on a raw vegan diet had low bone mass.
What Are The Risks Of Having Raw Foods?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), uncooked animal products are most likely to cause food poisoning. This includes raw and undercooked meat, including chicken, raw or lightly cooked eggs, raw (unpasteurized) milk, and raw shellfish. Sometimes raw vegetables and fruits can also cause food poisoning.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for health. But a raw diet consumed over a long period may lead to nutritional deficiencies and low bone mass. So a combination of raw and cooked diet is always the best.