Eating raw foods is natural. Our bodies thrive on all that’s fresh and vital. A raw food diet (or increasing the amount of raw food which you eat) is bound to bring a feeling of greater wellbeing.
Raw food diets are based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, preferably organic, such as a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegies, nuts, seeds, seeds, dried fruit, fresh juices and purified water.
Why Raw Foods?
Basically a vegetarian diet, the raw food diet promotes eating and drinking ‘living’ foods. Living foods and juices contain the most amount of fiber found in raw produce, fibre which can be lost in processing. Such foods may be metabolised and tend to be lower in calories than the normal diet.
Heating food above 116°F destroys enzymes in food that aid in digestion and in absorption of food, diminishing its nutritional value.
Advantages of a Raw Food Diet
A diet of 75% raw food offers numerous health benefits, such as increased energy, improved skin appearance, better digestion, weight loss and reduced risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
A raw food diet contains little or no saturated fats, is low in sodium, high in potassium, magnesium, folate and fiber.
Raw food diets are also excellent detox diets. Different combinations of raw, living foods and juices may be used for colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing and skin cleansing.
The Basics of a Raw Food Diet
Any fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans, nuts, legumes, young coconut milk — even seaweed — may be menu items of a raw food diet. Your choice of meals may depend on your reasons for dieting, for example:
– sprouted brown rice slows sugar absorption and improves the metabolism
– cabbage supports healthy cellular function; radish leaves act as an anti-oxidant, as does Shitake mushroom
-carrots are a great source of vitamin A as well as encouraging healthy vision and a healthy cardio-vascular system
You can use a sprouter such as the Easy Green automatic sprouter to sprout seeds, grains, beans — even wheatgrass. Sprouts could be known as a ‘super food’ — organic sprouts contain enormous levels of vitamins, proteins, minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll pigments and enzymes, and are the ideal natural supplement.
Sprouts may be used in salads and soups, or could be juiced. Fresh juices are a great ready energy supply and a good quality juicer, like the Kempo Greenpower juicer, produces living juices which are full of essential nutrients.
A excellent juicing recipe to complement a raw food diet is carrot juice with potato, fennel and apple. Simply juice 4 medium carrots, 2 tbsp, 1 small potato and 1 small stalk of fennel.
Fennel has been shown to reduce and control inflammation of arthritis, it evens mood fluctuation and depressive states and has the rare nutrient known as manganese, plus zinc and vitamin B complex.
The nutritional value of grains and seeds is impressive. They contain most of the vitamins — particularly A, B, and E. They’re also fantastic organic sources of unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, and an exceptional source of proteins.
You can even use soy milk makers (for example, SoyQuick) to create non-dairy drinks from different beans, rice, nuts, seeds and grains to have with breakfast. If you would like something a little more substantial than soy milk you can create your tofu (or, of course, visit a fantastic health food store).
Essentially, the idea of a raw food diet is to eat unprocessed foods for at least 75% of the time. If the idea of raw food is not very appetising to you, you can heat the food a little so long as the food is not heated above 116°F.
As with any major change in diet, it is wise idea to consult your physician before beginning a particular diet. This is particularly true for children, pregnant women, anyone with anemia and anyone with a preexisting medical condition.
Even natural foods can conflict with certain medications, so please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medication.
Because a raw food diet is detoxifying some people today suffer a mild detox response including mild headaches, nausea and cravings. These symptoms can last for many days and you will get more enjoyment from your raw food diet in the event that you cut down on things like beef, caffeine and sugar a week or so before beginning the diet.
Last But Not Least…
A raw food diet is certainly a fantastic way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Like anything worthwhile it takes time, energy and dedication. Since many of the foods for this particular type of diet are made from scratch there’s some preparation time involved. There are many fantastic products on the market which can help you prepare your own living food and spare you some time as well.
Along with regular exercise, a raw food diet is also a superb weight loss method. If you’ve been feeling ‘a bit off’, or just need a pick-me-up and some extra energy, then a raw food diet is certainly a fantastic way to go.