You may have been hearing about the raw food diet lately. Or, you may have noticed a raw food restaurant popping up in your neighbourhood. Yes, the raw food diet craze is everywhere. If you don’t know what it is, let’s break it down. The raw food diet is considered to be any raw vegan foods – that have not been heated above 115 degrees F. This is important, as it is believed that foods that are heated up more than that lose out on much of their nutritional value.
Raw food enthusiasts believe that eating a diet full of raw foods can aid in weight loss, give you more energy, clearer skin, improved digestion, and better overall health. It is important to note that the entire diet isn’t raw. The goal is to reach a certain percentage, like 75% raw and so on. Some people still have unprocessed dairy in their diet, while others are completely vegan.
So, what does a raw diet really consist of? It essentially limits the amount of processed foods that you are including in your diet. Some of the most common foods associated with the raw food diet are: raw fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, roots and root vegetables, sprouts, herbs and spices, seaweed. While it may seem easy to get these ‘meals’ ready, it can still require preparation. You need to make sure that you always have a stocked fridge ready to go. It is also a good idea to have a blender or food processor in case you want to make a smoothie for breakfast.
If a total raw food diet sounds like too big of a change, there is also the raw food detox diet. This is also becoming more popular. The detox diet is when someone eats raw food for anywhere from 3 to 20 days. After this time, the body should be cleansed of all processed foods. From there, they may decide to continue on with the raw diet or simply introduce more raw foods into their life.
There are many benefits associated with this diet. They have to do with the fact that raw food has less trans and saturated fats, is low in sodium and sugars, has lots of magnesium, potassium, fibre, vitamin A, and antioxidants. It is also thought to slow down the aging process and reduce inflammation. With so many extraordinary claims, one question still remains: does the raw food diet actually work?
It all depends on how far you take it. While introducing more fruits, vegetables, and nuts into your diet is certainly a good thing, there are some concerns related to the raw food diet as well. They include nutritional issues, such as deficiencies of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. If that wasn’t enough, when people start this diet, side effects may include headaches and nausea. The raw food diet is certainly an interesting concept…but it needs to be monitored carefully. In order to make sure your nutrition doesn’t suffer, ease into the diet, and don’t go fully ‘raw.’
Now you know all about the raw food diet. It may be sweeping the nation right now, but only time will tell if it actually sticks around.