How beneficial is a raw food diet?

raw food dietPeople who follow a raw food diet believe that cooking vegetables excessively destroys the nutrient value.

Cooked foods we eat do not provide us with the necessary nutrition, but instead ends up adversely affecting our digestive system.

A raw food diet is one in which the food is eaten either completely raw or cooked slightly. Vegans find it easier to follow this diet, as it comprises of mainly fruits and vegetables.

Raw food recipes

Raw food diets usually consist of fruit, vegetables, and salads.  Although people believe that raw food diets do not incorporate any cooked foods at all, it may include some minimally cooked products.  Raw food diet is defined as one in which at least 75% of the food products are raw. Therefore, those on this diet can consume one meal that is slightly cooked.

Raw food diets usually include different supplements such as Vitamin B12, copper, and zinc because these may not be adequately provided in the diet. If you are switching from a regular diet to a raw food diet, it is advisable that you ask your doctor before taking such drastic measures.

Another word of caution before you start this diet is that you should be careful about the pesticides present in raw products. Either wash these products very carefully or make sure that you buy organic produce from the market to incorporate it in your raw food diet.

Benefits of a raw food diet

The main advantage of following this diet is that it ensures you get the maximum nutrient value from the foods that normally are destroyed in the cooking process. Raw foods like fruits and vegetables have a lower content of fat and are healthy for the body in more ways than one.

Not only does it provide the needed vitamins and minerals, but it also meets the roughage and fiber requirements of the body as well. Therefore, this diet is especially beneficial for people who want to reduce the calorie intake and lose weight to get into shape.

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Furthermore, since these food items are not cooked, the diet does not contain any added fat or other ingredients that may not be necessary for the body. Cooked foods are also harder to metabolize as the cooking process releases certain acids and other chemicals that the body cannot digest.

For people who are looking to lose weight or cleanse their body of toxins, this is an excellent way of developing healthy food habits. Nutritionists believe that raw fruits and vegetables are easy to digest and eliminate problems such as acidity, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

The fibre content in raw fruits and vegetables helps regulate the bowel movements and avoids other digestive issues in an individual.

A raw food diet is a very safe way to lose weight

People resort either to crash diets or deprive themselves of essential nutrients in an effort to lose weight. At the end of the diet, though they do end up losing weight, it comes at a heavy price. A raw food diet is a safe and effective way to limit oneself to eating food that is healthy and without any added fatty products.

Many people are switching from their regular diets to a raw food diet, and following this diet as a regular practice not only helps you shed the excess weight, but also ensures that you develop a healthy habit for life.

What to consider when switching to a raw food diet

One thing that individuals consuming a raw food diet must keep in mind is that raw foods like fruits and vegetable may not contain sufficient iron. Therefore, continuing this diet for a prolonged period may result in anaemia. For people with an existing condition like anaemia, consumption of this diet may aggravate it further and result in other symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness.

It is important to supplement one’s diet with iron supplements or other foods like lentils and beans. Iron supplements have to be taken after consultation with the physician so that the dose is specified according to the age, gender, and other requirements of the individuals.

Start the raw diet slowly so that the body gets the time to adapt to it. Switching to the diet suddenly from a normal diet may result in digestive problems. Not everyone is able to follow a raw diet for longer periods, and therefore, incorporating it slowly and taking breaks in the middle may be a good way to get used to this diet plan.

Mixing raw and cooked foods in the same meal plan may not be a good idea. This is because cooked food stimulates the production of acids and bile in the body that can interfere with the digestion of the raw foods. Therefore, even if one desires to incorporate both into the diet, one should separate the raw food items and cooked items and consume it in two separate meals.

As mentioned earlier, individuals who are not accustomed to having raw food may not adapt to it easily. Therefore, it is suggested that people sprinkle some salt or other seasonings on the raw foods before consuming it to impart some flavour to it.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are digested at different rates, and consuming the two in two separate meals is a good idea to make sure that each food group is digested properly.

In short, it is necessary for individuals to plan the meals beforehand.