You might be wondering why anyone would want to skip the cooking process of any meal. Maybe you keep your raw food in your salad bowl—and that’s it! Maybe you should think again. A raw diet is based on eating unprocessed, whole plant-based (hopefully) organic foods, and to really adhere to this way of life, ¾ of your diet should be made up of uncooked food. Followers of this way of eating believe that the more raw your diet, the healthier you’ll be.
The truth is that we could all do with less processed food, but does a raw diet really make you healthier? Here are the pro’s:
The Digestion Question: While some people report problems with irritable bowl when they begin a raw diet, most said that these symptoms improved over time. Most raw foodists report that their digestion improved when they made the switch to a raw diet. One reason raw foodists believe that people shouldn’t cook their food is that they believe that natural and essential enzymes in food are destroyed at temperatures above 116 degrees Fahrenheit. When you eat raw food, your body is more easily able to digest and absorb the nutrients, and so digestion moves more quickly and comfortably.
Watch the Pounds Melt like the Butter You’re Not Eating: Another benefit people point to is weight loss. It only makes sense that when you replace your (probably) higher calorie snacks with fruits, veggies and nuts that you’ll begin to lose weight. We all know that dieting can sometimes make people feel deprived and hungry, but when you’re eating nuts and seeds, which naturally contain loads of protein and healthy fats, you won’t spend the day listening to your stomach growl. You’ll be getting loads of vitamins and minerals and losing weight without feeling like a starving bear. Win!
Energizer Bunny: Raw foodists also say that after a period of adjustment to the diet, they feel more energized, lighter (see above), and ready to go! They also purport having better skin and sharp-as-ginzu-knives memories. A big boatload of vitamins and minerals are coming into your body on a raw food diet—instead of empty calories and heavy foods— so it only makes sense that your body will respond with a renewed sense of energy and life, right? Vitamins and minerals are good stuff!
The Great Germ Blocker: When you eat a raw food diet, your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer are reduced as well. A raw food diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and eliminates unhealthy, fatty foods from your diet; and if you’re not eating them, then they’re not clogging your arteries! Raw foodists also report having fewer coughs and colds and generally stronger immune systems.
Having said all of this, we should also say that consuming raw meats is discouraged due to the possibility of bacteria, parasites and viruses, though some eat them anyway (although the majority of raw foodists seem to be vegetarians and vegans). Here’s a list of some foods that health professionals say should be eaten with caution:
Even though we describe this as a raw food “diet,” it’s really more of a way of life. You have to change some major things in your life to do this. Are you a proponent of raw foods? Tell us a little more about it on our Facebook or Twitter pages—we want to know what you think!