Discussing the benefits of a raw diet is a challenging thing. There is so much written about this subject that it is impossible to do it justice in this article. Treat this as an overview of the benefits and we would recommend you seek expert advice and do your due diligence in researching the topic in more details due to the complex nature of a raw diet (particularly where children are involved). There are many elements of the raw diet to take into consideration for it to be done correctly and effectively in order to achieve the desired results. However, if you do embark on this journey, we believe the potential health benefits associated with eating this way may be miraculous. Going raw is no easy task, but if decide to give it a go then we suggest you try and target over 50% in weight of raw foods per meal then you should see positive results. Any cooked food you do consume should preferably be minimally processed, lightly cooked and not be nutrient deficient or loaded with calories. Try and eat any cooked foods you do eat with your raw foods. Of course, if you can eat a higher percentage of raw food, then this is even better still.
In a nutshell, a raw food diet is thought to be the natural type of diet we are designed to consume. Although the vast majority of people eat a cooked food diet and this is what our bodies are accustomed to, it is a flawed diet in many ways. Cooking food denatures it and turns it into something unknown to the body. This causes the body to make white blood cells to attack the invaders, which leads to the immune response known as leukocytosis. This means the body is in a state of fighting what it perceives as a constant toxic bombardment. Although you may feel well, this leaves the body in a weakened, sick state. It is the constant norm for you to be in this vulnerable, unbalanced state so you aren’t really aware of the suppressed state of your health. So many of all the major and minor conditions we get throughout the years (aches, pains, acne, obesity, cellulite, colds, influenza, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and many other chronic diseases) may possibly be a direct consequence of the lifestyle and foods we eat. Wild animals in nature eat the way nature intended. How many of these animals suffer from the plethora of ailments and symptoms that plagues the human race? The answer is they rarely suffer from any of these diseases.
Put simply, human beings are the only creatures on earth who consume cooked foods. You then have to ask yourself is it a coincidence that we are the only creatures that suffer from cancers, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, heart disease, etc, etc? It is also questionable that those animals that do suffer from these illnesses tend to be fed by man.
Benefits of Eating Raw
The reasons for eating a raw diet are numerous. First and foremost are the health benefits and the reduced likelihood of becoming ill or catching a chronic disease. You will benefit from increased energy levels, you are less likely to be overweight and you will just have an increased feeling of well being both physically and mentally making you a happier person. Your bowel movements are likely to become more regular leaving you less likely to feel bloated.
Raw foods are cleansing to the body and so will help reduce the build-up of toxins in your system. By eating raw foods you will be getting all the nutrients and nutrition that food has to offer without it being leached out or denatured by the cooking process.
Problems With the Typical Diet
The diets that most of us consume are not a diet our bodies are designed to thrive on. It stands to reason that we really are what we eat so have that thought in mind when you are eating your next meal. It is important we learn what foods do us harm and what foods allow us to thrive. Optimum health cannot be achieved if we are not consuming optimum nutrition. We are unknowingly poisoning ourselves at every mealtime.
What do Raw Foodist’s Eat?
The raw food diet varies, but there are many rules that apply across the board. Most raw foodist’s will ensure that as much of the food they consume as possible is organic. Conventional foods are considered to be weaker and subjected to a number of toxic chemicals or drugs (many crops are sprayed with chemicals to prevent pests from attacking the crops and to extend the shelf life of the crop. Animals get fed drugs and antibiotics to keep them unnaturally healthy and disease free. Unfortunately, all these things are toxic and harmful to us, yet we will be consuming them indirectly when we consume the food that has been subjected to these treatments).
You can divide the types of foods raw foodist’s eat into the following groups:
- Fruits (fresh, dried and frozen)
- Vegetables (fresh and dried)
- Sprouted seeds (sprouted seeds will be at their most nutritional dense state)
- Micro greens
- Dried and fresh herbs and spices
- Seeds and nuts (including their butters. Nuts are best consumed after being soaked to aid digestion)
- Ancient grains (such as amaranth and buckwheat)
- Sea vegetables
- Algaes (such as chlorella and spirulina)
- Superfoods (such as maca, cacao, nutritious berries, aloe vera, wheatgrass etc)
- Juices (raw fruits and vegetables juiced to make nutritious smoothies)
Ensure you get all the nutrients you need
As healthy as the raw diet is there can be some nutrients that you need to make sure you don’t become deficient in (particularly if you go down the raw vegan diet. Note: It is not advisable to be 100% vegan unless you have done your due diligence on what you are consuming to ensure you are covering all your bases to give yourself complete, optimal nutrition. You may need to ensure you choose foods which contain adequate levels of vitamins B12, D, K1&2, Iron, choline, calcium and all the essential fatty acids otherwise you will need to supplement your diet with these (supplementation is best done from natural sources or from supper foods dense in these nutrients. Juicing greens is a way of concentrating your food to give you an array of essential nutrients and will go a long way towards helping you get enough of what your body needs). Also keep an eye on your protein intake. Hemp protein powder is a great source of healthy protein to consume. It is also tempting to overdo the fruit when looking to eat raw. Fruit is very healthy, but make sure you keep the ratio sensible in your diet.
So much more can be written on the benefits of a raw diet. This is just a short summary of some of the main benefits a raw diet can have on our health. However; one should never focus on any individual diet or program to achieve overall good health. It is actually vitally important that our bodies receive a full spectrum of nutrients and actions to have a chance of functioning properly and to help us remain disease free.