A Quick Guide To Raw Food Diets
In recent years, there has been far greater awareness of vegan and vegetarian diets.
Having gone mainstream, meat-free food is offered nearly everywhere, with vegetarian and vegan options being available in almost any restaurant or food stand.
However, raw food diets have become more popular over this time too, but have not received anywhere near as much attention. This is despite well-known celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Miranda Kerr, Alicia Silverstone, and Venus Williams all swearing by raw food diets to boost their health and nourish their bodies.
So then, let’s take a look at raw food diets in more detail, and discuss some of their benefits and drawbacks.
What Does A Raw Food Diet Contain?
A raw food diet is composed mainly or entirely of raw and living foods. These include mostly vegan food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, although raw foodists can consume any foods which have not been cooked, frozen, or treated with chemical preservatives.
In general, there are 3 types of raw foodists:
- Living foodists, who eat a diet made up of plant food in active forms, such as sprouted nuts and seeds.
- Raw foodists who are not vegetarians, and therefore eat raw meats and unpasteurized milk
- Juicarians, who eat a diet made up entirely of juices.
What Are The Advantages Of A Raw Food Diet?
Many raw foodists choose the diet because they believe that cooking, freezing, or otherwise processing foods can destroy vitamins, bacteria, and enzymes. They also believe that cooking food makes it harder to digest – partially due to destroying the enzymes that act as catalysts in the digestion of food.
Raw foods contain fewer chemicals and preservatives, while boasting more vitamins and minerals than processed foods.
The raw foodists also believe that the diet can improve health, lower the risk of heart disease, improve digestion, improve skin appearance, and increase energy levels.
And in particular, the following organic foods are said to provide specific benefits:
– Sprouted brown rice slows glucose absorption and improves the metabolism
– Cabbage supports healthy cellular function; radish leaves act as an antioxidant, and so do Shitake mushrooms
– Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, as well as encouraging strong vision, and a healthy cardiovascular system
– Sprouts contain enormous levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll pigments, and enzymes, making them a raw food superfood!
– Fennel has been shown to reduce and control inflammation of arthritis. Plus, it evens out mood fluctuation and depressive states, and contains rare nutrients like manganese, along with zinc and Vitamin B complex
– Grains and seeds have great nutritional value; they contain many vital vitamins, but are particularly high in vitamins A, B, and E. They’re also fantastic natural sources of unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, and an excellent source of proteins.
Additionally, a raw food diet contains little or no saturated fats, is low in sodium, and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, and fibre. The raw foods themselves are easily metabolised and tend to be lower in calories than the average diet – therefore making them a great option if you’re trying to lose weight.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Raw Food Diet?
An important concern in a raw food diet is the lack of animal proteins and essential amino acids. This is why raw foodists should take nutritional supplements to avoid becoming deficient in protein and vitamin B12.
Watch What You Eat!
As with any major change in diet, it’s wise to consult with your doctor if you’re considering making a switch. This is especially true for children, pregnant women, anyone with anaemia, and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition.
Also, because a raw food diet is detoxifying some people suffer a mild detox reaction including mild headaches, nausea, and cravings.
These symptoms may last for several days, but you can reduce them and make your transition to a raw food diet easier by cutting down on things like meat, sugar, and caffeine a week or so before commencing the diet.