The raw food diet is gaining much attention and press
lately. After all, it has strong supporters from high
profile celebrities such as actor Woody Harrelson, model
Carol Alt, designer Donna Karan, and Chicago-based
celebrity chef Charlie Trotter. The raw food diet sure
sounds like a healthy diet. But is it only a fad? What are
the benefits to the raw food diet?
The raw food diet is one that is about the consumption
of uncooked, unprocessed and largely organic foods. This
means that foods are not allowed to heated above a certain
temperature. What this temperature is depends on the type
of raw food diet you are on. Yes, there is more than one to
choose from. But typically, maximum temperatures range from
92 degrees farenheit to 118 degrees farenheit.
If you equate raw food to only vegetarian food, then
this is not entirely true. For some raw food diets, only
vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are allowed. In others,
it can also include fish, meat and unpasteurized dairy
products such as raw milk, cheese or yoghurt. This will
help ensure that you get much needed protein from other
food sources as well.
There are many benefits to the raw food diet. One of the
main reasons why people go on a raw food diet is because
they believe that raw food can heal or treat several
diseases. Raw foods contain live enzymes, thus aiding in
digestion. It frees the enzymes of your own body to work on
its various metabolic processes. Unfortunately, most
enzymes in foods are destroyed through heating when we cook
and through processing for preserving them for sale.
Another benefit to the raw food diet can be on your
weight. This is simply because raw food usually has fewer
calories than other types of food. A raw food diet can help
you achieve weight loss as you will have to cut out all
junk or processed foods.
Raw foods also contain bacteria and other
micro-organisms that are said to be helpful for the balance
of your intestinal flora. They can help stimulate your
immune system and improve on the digestive process.
Another benefit to the raw food diet is that you can
find yourself having loads of energy. This happens because
your body can more easily digest and use the fuel from raw
foods rather than meats and refined foods. Also, raw foods
have higher nutrients than foods that are cooked, since
they are not all destroyed via cooking.
However, to be on a raw food diet means that you should
refrain from eating even the smallest amount of cooked
food. Your body will find it more difficult to process the
raw foods, because the acid levels in your stomach will be
You also need to ensure that you take supplements
especially if you are on a vegetarian-only raw food diet.
Vitamin B12 is one supplement that many vegetarians are
deficient in, because it is found in meats and other animal
products. It is difficult to get this in raw vegetables and
fruits. Some other supplements that are normally needed are
zinc and copper, because they are primarily found in meats.
Eating seeds and nuts may help you to get some of the
vitamins, because they are a very good protein source that
can help you to rebuild your tissues and create new ones.
Calcium and protein deficiency must also be looked into,
with a raw food diet.
You may find that your appetite increases with a raw
food diet. You can eat a lot of food and still be hungry
and will be tempted to eat more. Although raw foods contain
less calories, you may find that you undergo more severe
detoxification side effects such as headaches and mild
nausea, if your stomach cannot take too much raw foods
suddenly and all at one go.
The raw food diet is also not suitable for those who are
pregnant, young children, anemic people or those at risk
with osteoporosis. Those who go on a raw food diet tend to
have lower bone mass.
Also, implementing a raw food diet takes up considerable
time, effort and commitment. You need to make many of your
foods from scratch. Not all food ingredients are as readily
available as the ones catering to a normal diet.
Despite the various criticisms, the raw food diet
movement is gaining popularity. The many benefits to the
raw food diet is tempting: balanced body weight, clear
skin, more energy and less sickness. It is also much easier
to find restaurants offering raw food meals in large cities
now across the world. A raw food diet is not boring either.
There are several cookbooks published with appetizing
recipes that you can easily follow if you want to go on