Health Benefits of The Raw Food Diet
A raw food diet, as the name suggests, refers to the consumption of unprocessed, organic, plant-based foods, of which at least 75% are uncooked.
In simple terms, a raw food diet consists of food that has not been altered by any method that would modify its basic chemical structure, such as heating it over 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Raw food is free of any preservatives and should be consumed fresh to enjoy its natural goodness.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the central foods on the raw food diet
A raw food diet chiefly comprises of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetable juice, nuts, beans, seeds, dried fruits, legumes, grains, purified water, coconut milk and other such natural foods that have not been artificially processed.
A particular technique is used to prepare a raw food meal and includes sprouting of seeds, grains and beans, soaking of nuts and dried fruits and juicing fruits and vegetables.
In order to follow a healthy raw food diet, you must first analyze the level of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals required by the body and then carefully plan your meal, ensuring that these essential elements are properly balanced. In some cases, it may be appropriate to consider the consumption of dietary supplements.
Getting the necessary equipment is another important factor for following a raw food diet. You will require an efficient juice extractor for the fruits and vegetables and a blender or a wooden spoon and sieve to mash and blend the ingredients.
A food processor or chopper and large containers to soak and sprout the grains and seeds may also be required.
Switch to the raw food diet slowly
There should be a gradual transition when you are changing from a normal diet to the raw food. Start by consuming about 60% to 80% raw food and then slowly make a switch to a full-fledged raw food diet. This is done so that your body gets ample time to get acclimatized to the change in food habits.
Raw foods incorporate higher content of essential enzymes as compared to cooked foods. Proponents of the raw food diet believe that enzymes are the life force of any food. These enzymes act as a catalyst in the process of digestion and metabolism. Heating the food will lead to degradation of enzymes.
Food without sufficient amounts of enzymes leads to toxicity in the body in the long run and excess consumption of enzyme deficient food will cause obesity and chronic diseases.
Another benefit of following a raw food diet is that you will consume food with high nutrient value for the overall betterment of the body. Raw foods include vital bacteria and other microorganisms that stimulate the immune system.
What are the health benefits of the raw food diet?
Those who follow a raw food diet cite several benefits such as increased levels of energy and a healthy skin glow. It is also believed that a rigid raw food diet helps loose weight.
The ideal raw food diet should be nutrient dense and fiber-rich with little or no saturated fats and with a low concentration of sodium and a high concentration of potassium.
These elements are essential in order to minimize the risk of diseases such as heart ailments and certain cancers.