On a regular basis, new diet trends and exercise programs are being introduced to the public. As soon as one has reached its hype status, its decline starts; just in time for a new diet program to start getting the recognition it needs. A recent addition to the roster of food diet trends is none other than the consumption of raw food. Just like other diets, raw food diet requires a change in lifestyle and the support of your family members. At the same time, you need to do as much research as you can so you can enjoy the benefits of the raw food diet. If this is your first time to come across this diet, here are some of the things to help you get started on this diet.
The Notion Behind Raw Food Diet
True to its name, raw food diet follows the idea of consuming unprocessed, ideally organic and whole plant-based ingredients. For an individual to start incorporating a raw food diet, his diet should be at least 3/4 composed of uncooked and unprocessed food. More than just following the hype and the idea of a quick weight loss strategy, raw foodists believe that the consumption of raw food lead to a healthier and enjoyable life. And along with incorporating a higher proportion of raw food in one’s diet, this is achieved easily.
Raw Food And Other Diets
While a significant number of raw foodists are mostly vegans, it is not only limited to this group of people. As a matter of fact, there are some raw foodists that still consume raw meat and animal products. This means that when you join the raw food diet, you do not necessarily have to give up the consumption of meat. Instead, you simply steer clear of the cooking process as you wish to improve the quality of your food. Since the essential enzymes found in a particular ingredient are destroyed when the food is heated over 47 Celsius, raw foodists try to conserve them by eliminating the process of cooking the ingredient altogether.
Coincidentally, having a raw food diet doesn’t instantaneously make you a vegan; and vice versa. There are four broad branches that classify each raw foodist:
- Raw Vegan – Do not consume any animal product; most food in their diet is consumed raw
- Raw Vegetarian – Consumes mostly raw food and includes eggs and dairy as the only animal products in their diet
- Raw Omnivore – Consumes raw plant and animal based foods
- Raw Carnivore – Consumes raw meat products
Foods Included in a Raw Diet
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Juice derived from fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits
- Milk from a young coconut
- Sun-dried fruits
- Purified water
- Other unprocessed natural or organic foods
Based on the specific branch of raw food diet, an individual’s diet may also be inclusive of either of the following:
- Fish (sushi, sashimi)
- Non-pasteurized/non-homogenized milk and dairy products
Apart from retaining the essential enzymes found in the ingredient, foodists believe that by following the diet, the body’s natural ability to fight and prevent diseases are enhanced.
How to Prepare Ingredients in a Raw Food Diet
The common notion of individuals is that when they undergo a raw food diet, they will be exposing themselves to health hazards and diseases that may sprout from the unsafe practice of eating raw ingredients, particularly eggs and meat. To clear this up, however, the food involved in a raw food diet undergo a special way of preparation. Instead of cooking, a raw food diet involves other methods such as sprouting, soaking, drying, and juicing. The basic notion, however, is that the food should not undergo heating. The only time heating is permitted is when a dehydrator is used– when hot air is blown through the food. Ingredients can also be blended and chopped up for consumption.
Health Benefits of Raw Food Diet
Since enzymes are considered as the life force behind a certain food, raw foodists do their best to preserve these. With each food item producing a different set of enzymes, the benefit of going through a raw food diet also varies. Collectively, the diet helps in giving the individual the ability to rely on their body’s own enzymes for the nutrients it needs. Here are some of the benefits of undergoing a raw food diet:
- Higher Bouts of Energy -Eating raw food has attributed to an increase in the body’s energy levels. As a result, you don’t feel fatigue as quickly as you would with a regular diet or no diet at all.
- Increase in Mental Clarity – Many people who have tried raw food diet believe that they are able to increase their mental clarity. With this advantage, they are able to focus more on things that need to be done as soon as possible.
- Regular Movement – The regular daily bowel movement is typically two to three times a day. For individuals who go less than this number, it simply means that the intestines are clogged unhealthily. By consuming fiber rich ingredients, a regular movement can be expected.
- Better Sleep – Having a raw food diet has also been known to contribute to better sleep patterns. As a result, you no longer feel sleepy or tired throughout the day.
- Better Skin – By getting the nutrients directly from fresh fruits and vegetables, you get to improve your skin.
- Weight Loss – Because of a regular bowel movement, you can obtain weight loss with this diet.
- Improved Blood Test Results – Studies have shown improved cholesterol and lipid level test results on those who undergo the raw food diet.
Potentially Unsafe Raw Foods
While there are plenty of ingredients that can be used under a raw food diet, there are some items that may be considered as potentially unsafe. Items enlisted under this category should be approached with caution as they may be toxic to the health:
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Apricot Kernels
- Kidney Beans
- Raw Eggs
- Raw Meat
- Raw Milk
If you’re ready to start a raw food diet and be part of the raw revolution, it is important that you do your research before you start. This way, you can be thoroughly prepared for the diet. Especially since you will be dealing with raw ingredients, you need all the help that you can get.