What is Raw food diet?
These days, most food that is being consumed is processed, toxin-contained and artificial. Raw food diet is becoming a trend since the last couple of years. It incorporates food that is uncooked. Raw food is not processed by heat. It includes foods that are not frozen and not heated to temperatures above 115 degrees. Mostly, they are plant-based foods and is primarily composed of fruits and vegetables. They can also include nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. However, eating such a diet requires effort and motivation.
Raw food diet has a variety of health benefits. It is better to go for organic food since many raw foods are toxin containing. Raw food helps clean the body and provides more physical energy. In processed foods, healthy fats and dietary fibers are not present. They can be obtained from the raw food diet. Through raw foods, our body gets more of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Majority of them are gluten-free. Also, it helps in weight loss and maintaining healthy weight. It cleanses our body and detoxifies it. It keeps the skin healthy and reduces inflammation.
26 Health Benefits of the Raw Food Diet
- Increases consumption of fruits - Majority of raw food diets include sweet, fresh fruits which are rich in vitamins, and mild in calories. They make the person feel satisfied and full of energy. The fiber in fruits aid in healthy digestion. It helps to control the appetite and makes the person feel replenished. Fruits can be eaten whole or can be juiced so that there is some variety in the diet.
- Increases consumption of vegetables - Vegetables are also a part of the raw diet. They provide minerals and proteins although the content is low, but some green leafy vegetables such as spinach are rich in proteins. Proteins are necessary for body building, muscle repair and growth. Vegetables can be included in smoothies and salads.
- Biophotons - Sprouts and fresh vegetables or fruits contain biophotons. Biophotons are shortly lived and three hours after harvesting, they are completely gone.
- Balanced nutrition - A raw food diet provides proteins, fats and carbohydrates. This is required for a healthy balanced diet. If processed foods and animal products are eaten in excess, then it may lead to excess nutrients or lack of some nutrients or cause an improper diet. Raw food diet cleans the body, keeps it light and does not make the body feel bogged or sluggish.
- Consumption of simple carbohydrates - Raw food diet consists of plant-based food that can be easily digested by the body. They have simple carbohydrate content which can be easily digested with little effort.
- Prevents deficiency of vitamins - Vitamins are not lost since raw foods are not cooked or heated. Hence, there is no need to rely on supplements to get the required amount of vitamins since you can get it through your diet.
- Clears up skin - Breakouts on the skin is likely due to the diet. Greasy food and fatty foods can cause clogged pores. Fruits and vegetables contain water, vitamins A, B, C, E and K and water.
- Gluten free - It is highly recommended to have a diet that is gluten-free or low gluten for people who are health conscious. Gluten in grains cannot be easily digested by the body. Grains cannot be a part of raw food diet since they need to be cooked in order to be digested.
- Phytonutrients - Phytonutrients provide support to vitamins. These phytonutrients can be obtained from raw food along with minerals and vitamins. Phytonutrients act as a catalyst which provides strength to the immune system, slows down the process of aging and helps in proper working of cells. These trace elements are required for maintaining good health. All these phytonutrients are received by our body only by eating living foods. Many phytonutrients are yet to be discovered.
- Increased energy - They make us feel more alive and energetic since they are living foods and in their natural state. High levels of energy can be obtained from living foods. When food is processed or cooked, the energy becomes less or is destroyed. Hence, those who eat raw food benefit from the energy obtained, vitality levels and mental clarity. This energy then influences our mental, emotional and spiritual health.
- Low fat - Body can function on fat intake of as low as 10 percent. The raw diet is low in fat since it consists more of carbohydrates and proteins. This is especially useful for those who are trying to lose weight. The raw food diet consists of nuts, seeds and avocados which contain unsaturated fat. These are healthier and there are less chances of gaining weight from these fats.
- Cooling and hydrating - The high water content in the raw food diet based foods keeps the body hydrated and cools the body down. Fresh fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, watermelons, leafy greens and pears keep the body hydrated and energized.
- Unaltered vitamins - When foods are cooked or frozen, they lose their nutritional value whereas if the food is eaten raw such as plant-based foods, then the entire nutrient is unlocked. This diet is packed with vitamins and nutrients and is not only lean, but also healthy as compared to other diets.
- High fiber content - Foods rich in high fiber are associated with health benefits such as weight control, digestive health, cardiovascular health, and photochemicals that fight against diseases. Fibers help to keep our intestine clean and also provide bulk. They help to collect and eliminate waste regularly. This detoxification mechanism is very important.Fiber also acts as a prebiotic. They help the probiotics to flourish in our intestine. Other benefits include they help to optimize the sugar level, cholesterol level and regulate the blood pressure, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and reduces the risk of heart diseases and increase longevity. They also help in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Enzymes - Plant-based foods which are a part of the raw diet consist of their own enzymes that aid in the process of digestion and our body does not need to use its own enzymes. Our body enzymes can then be used to carry out other functions. Enzymes release the nutrients from the foods. These nutrients are then available for chemical reaction. These then enable the body to carry out the process of digestion and metabolization in order to regulate the production of hormones. Cooking degrades enzymes and kills them so enzymes can only be obtained from raw foods.High levels of enzymes are also present in the raw food diet which can support the digestive system. The enzymes in the raw food diet are nutritious and increase the strength of nutrient uptake. One such is sprouted food which is rich in nutrients and enzymes.
- Healthy heart - Raw food diet excludes animal products and salt. This lowers the risk of heart diseases and enables the heart to pump blood more efficiently. Hence, the flow of blood is increased.
- Alkaline diet - Raw food diet facilitates uptake and utilization of nutrients from the blood, enables release of waste products from the cells and also facilitates many other processes on the cellular level. Thus, it helps to create a balance within our body so raw food diet is also known as an alkaline diet. It also helps the body to maintain the correct pH. Raw food diet consists of foods that have high water content. They are also high in fiber.One of the important components of a healthy body is the acid-alkaline balance. The pH of our blood is 7.4. This is important for our body to be healthy and alive. Studies have shown that food in which carbohydrates, animal products and oil is highly refined and low in vegetables and fruits are acidifying. They cause acidosis which can lead to diseases. The most alkalizing foods are fruits and vegetables. The acid-alkaline balance helps get rid of diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. Also, this balance is required for optimal functioning of the immune system and maintenance of weight.
- Digestive tract - Toxins and normal metabolic processes create free radicals that can damage healthy cells. These cells then eventually die or mutate. These can lead to cancer caused by mutation of cells. If too many cells die without any replacement, then it causes aging. Raw food diet consists of foods that are packed with antioxidants. They protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
- Weight loss - Raw food diet helps in weight loss since they are low in calories. They also help detoxify our body. However, it is important to consume nuts, seeds and avocado to maintain a healthy weight and not just eating fruits and vegetables.
- Reduces carbon dioxide emission - Very low levels of carbon dioxide are emitted in food that is directly obtained from the source and not cooked. This makes them more friendly to the human body.
- Regulates digestion - Plant-based food is easily processed and digested by the body. This quickens the process of digestion. Hence, the digestion that may take 72 hours may take only 24 hours. Thus, the time taken for quantity of food sitting and rotting in the digestive system is reduced. This aids the health of the digestive system.
- Reduces toxin exposure - High temperatures and cooking causes loss of minerals and vitamins. They also produce a toxin called carcinogen. According to studies, this causes acne. Hence, adding raw food to your diet will reduce the risk of cancer.
- No hunger pangs - Plant-based food can be eaten as much as you want since there is no restriction on calories. Hence, compared to other diets this is better since the stomach does not feel empty and this diet does not make you feel deprived, instead makes you feel full for longer time.
- Longetivity - If we eat food that is difficult to digest or takes more effort to digest, the more problems we are likely to encounter. Raw food diet includes food in their natural state and our body is designed to handle food in its raw and natural form. But we have conditioned our body to only process cooked food. Hence, those who are used to cooked food have a hard time digesting raw food. Processed food can cause unhealthy flora in the gut, sluggishness, and organs are stressed out, chronic dehydration, chronic acidity, chronic infections and unclean intestine. All these interfere with digestion. Benefits of nutrients are obtained from raw food diet since it is rich in nutrients and not calories. All this increases the longevity.
- Less sugar carvings - In people who consume raw vegetates and fruits, sugar cravings are less or almost disappear. The cravings decrease since your body gets nutrients from the raw food.
- Highest nutrient density - It has been shown through studies that healing and protective effect can be obtained from plant-based foods. It also has the highest nutrient density. Hence, the problems related to food are lowered. The nutrient density in fresh foods is more compared to the foods that are stored for longer period of time.
Raw food diet reduces acidity. The chances of fermentation in the gut and inflammation are lowered. People with various health concerns such as cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, high cholesterol, heart disease, auto immune reactions, fatigue, joint pain, food allergies, headaches, muscle pain, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, obese people benefit from such foods.
According to some studies and anecdotal evidence, raw food diet has shown to benefit the following:
- Lowers inflammation
- Eases the process of digestion
- Improves the heart conditions
- High in dietary fiber
- Prevents cancer
- Treats and prevents constipation
- Makes the person feel energetic
- Clears skin and makes it clean
- Reduces the amount of antinutrients and carcinogens
- Helps in weight loss
- Helps to maintain weight of the body
- Helps with liver function at the optimal level
- Raw food diet comprises of foods that are living and in their natural state.
- Raw food diet eliminates the detrimental effects of heating, boiling and baking.
- It can provide all the required enzymes, nutrients which aid in digestion and provide other health benefits.