Raw food diet, as the name suggests is simply food intake on a regular basis in its raw, natural and fresh form. Which means, raw food diet incorporates food which has not been adulterated with pesticides, preservatives or heated up to 118 degree Celsius.
Benefits Of Raw Food Diet?
The ideal principle behind this diet is that essential nutrients and natural enzymes are destroyed when food is cooked or heated.
Raw food diet is therefore rich with nutrients and fibers along with fewer calories, due to which it is ideal for weight loss purposes and a healthy, balanced diet.
Adhering to raw food diet also means a good amount of Vitamin C supply to your body, since Vitamin C is completely destroyed in cooking.
The natural enzymes also help in resisting inflammatory diseases.
It is ideally a plant based diet, due to which consumption of saturated fats is reduced, further lowering the risk of heart diseases, stroke and again aiding in weight loss.
Raw food diet is also known to lower the risk of cancer since no preservatives are used.
Followers of raw food diet believe it also helps in managing type 2 diabetes, hypertension as well as preventing arthritis.
How Can Vegans Follow Raw Food Diet?
Vegans can follow this diet by simply eliminating dairy or any animal produced products i.e yogurt, milk, eggs and obviously meat. In simpler terms, they can simply follow a diet regimen restricted to vegan foods in their raw form, which is also known as ‘Raw Vegan Diet‘.
However, with raw vegan diet, there is a risk of insufficient supply of proteins and fats to the body. Vegans should make sure that the percentage of nutrients intake should be in the ratio 8:1:1 for carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
They should incorporate nuts, fatty fruits (such as; avocado, coconut) to meet their fat and protein needs.
Raw food diet mostly incorporates fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains in their natural state. Raw meat and eggs can also be used too depending on the preference.
In order to make sure, all the vital and necessary nutrients are consumed in this diet, and to make this diet appetizing and easy to follow, we have listed few recipes and a list of raw food items as well below for people who are thinking or are already following this diet.
One must remember that cooking will render this diet useless, however they can resort to blending, fermenting and dehydrating cooking methods for this diet.
Coconut Curry Soup
Simply blend coconut, carrot chunks, galangal ginger, garlic, curry powder, Thai chilies, lemon juice and water until creamy and serve with cilantro, bell peppers and green onions in a bowl.
This can be either served cold or at room temperature.
Raw Vegan Bread
Blend the almonds in a food processor, until it forms a coarse mixture. Add chia seeds, husk, water, oats, salt and pepper to it.
Form this mixture into a loaf and after forming slices, place it in the dehydrator for 3 hours or till it holds.
Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Put cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extracts, lemon juice, sea salt, and water in a blender until creamy.
Freeze the mixture and then serve.
Raw Food Items
- Leafy green vegetables e.g: Kale, spinach etc
- All kinds of fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds e.g: Flax seeds etc
- Fermented foods
- Cold pressed oils
- Raw milk, cheese and cream
- Raw eggs
- Raw meat and poultry
What Are The Risks Associated With Raw Food Diet?
Raw food diet comes with both pros and cons just like any other diet regimen.
We’ve already emphasized on the benefits associated with raw food diet, especially the role it plays in people aiming for weight loss. We would now like to shed some light on the risks associated with raw food diet.
Raw food diet, especially raw red meat and sea food, can serve as a carrier for infectious agents (e.g; Salmonella, E. coli etc) which can only be destroyed through cooking.
Raw food diet can be a burden on our digestive system since none of the food that enters our gut has been broken down.
This often results in incomplete digestion. Which can further result in bloating, constipation as well as diarrhea.
Raw food diet, further fails to meet the essential nutrient requirements of the body especially raw vegan diet, as we mentioned earlier.
Beta-carotene and lycopene, two essential antioxidants are only absorbed in our body after they are cooked, hence a raw food diet follower is also deprived of these nutrients.
Before And After Effects Of Raw Food Diet
After weighing down both pros and cons of raw food diet, we decided to look into real life examples, whether raw food diet actually plays a role in body and health transformation or not.
Followers of raw food diet, with widespread issues such as acne, hypertension, and acute constipation claimed that within only two weeks they could feel the change in their overall health.
Not only their symptoms improved, but they felt their health improved both physically and mentally. They felt much more energetic and fresh.
Whereas, followers who opted this diet solely for the purpose of weight loss, also had astonishing results within only 6 months of following the diet. Within 6 months, they reported having a drop of 20 lbs weight on average.
They also noticed an improvement in their general symptoms such as allergies and lethargy. Women who followed this diet with an irregular menstrual cycles noticed an improvement in their cycles as well.
It is safe to say that raw food diet, is an ideal diet not only for people opting for weight loss but also for people looking for a healthy lifestyle alternative in order to sustain their physical well being.
However, they should make sure that their nutrient intake is well balanced, and that their body is not devoid of essential vitamins and minerals.