The Raw Food Diet

What is the Raw Food Diet?


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A raw food diet is based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods.

The raw food diet is a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed. In this diet, 75 percent of the food you eat should be raw as heating food is thought to destroy vitamins and minerals and also the enzymes that assist in digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

In many ways this is more of a life-style choice than an actual diet, but it is often followed for a short period as a means of de-toxing the body.

Benefits of the Diet

The raw food diet is credited with numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Healthier skin and a brighter complexion
  • Improved digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of heart disease

The raw food diet contains fewer saturated fats and transfats, is low in sodium and high in fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium and phytochemicals. It greatly reduces cholesterol in the body as well as reducing sugar and other toxins.

Eating the raw food diet greatly reduced the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Which foods can I eat?

Juicing as part of a raw food diet can help you age well and remain healthy

The main component of this diet is unprocessed, whole foods (if possible organic) such as:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes, beetroot, turnips, parsnips and other root vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds and grains
  • Beans
  • Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas
  • Dried fruit
  • Seaweed
  • Unprocessed organic or natural foods
  • Freshly juiced fruit and vegetables
  • Purified water
  • Young coconut water

At least 75% of food consumed should not be heated over 116 degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius

Preparation and cooking methods

Specific preparation cooking methods make the diet more enticing by adding variety and also help with digestion.

  • Sprouting seeds, grains, and beans
  • Juicing fruit and vegetables
  • Soaking nuts and dried fruit
  • Blending
  • Dehydrating food

    Useful equipment to invest in if you start this diet is a good-quality juicer top repare fruit and vegetable juices, a blender, food processor and/or chopping machine, a seed sprouter and jars for storing foods. Apparently there is also a machine called a dehydrator that can be used for dehydrating food by blowing hot air through it.

    I will be writing an article about juicing shortly (written March 2011), but for the moment here is a guest-submitted article about the best juices for your health.

    As with all diets that detox the body you may have a bad reaction to this diet in the first days. This might include symptoms such as nausea and headaches as the toxins found in meat and processed products are cleansed from the body.

    These symptoms will be more severe in people who had a diet rich in meat or other if you suffer from anemia or osteoporosis or at risk from developing these conditions, this diet is probably not for you. Studies have shown that people at risk of osteoporosis.

    Serious studies have found that the raw food diet can lower bone mass. Certain supplements will be necessary to prevent nutritional deficiencies such as calcium, iron, Vitamin B12 and protein.

    Main Criticisms of this diet

    The benefits of raw food diet are many - weight loss, improved health, great for de-toxing the body

    Not everyone believes in the philosophy of eating exclusively raw food. Followers of the macrobiotic and the Ayurveda philosophy believe that it may not be appropriate for people living in colder climates or for people with certain constitutions.

    Critics of this diet say the human body has evolved over time in response to changing diet of modern man, including great changes when food began to be cooked before eating. Cooking can purify the food, killing germs and bacteria and making certain phytochemicals, such as beta-carotene easier to absorb.

    Additionally the body uses its own enzymes for digestion, instead of those found in raw food, our jaws, teeth and stomach have become smaller and our digestive tract become longer, especially the small intestines, because of the change from raw to cooked foods. If we revert to the diet of earlier times, say the critics, our bodies will not be able to process the food efficiently.

    The Western Diet is Making Us Ill

    If you are serious about following a raw food diet you may decide to invest in a food blender

    However, it is obvious that the Western diet rich in transfars, saturated fat and processed food is creating an unhealthy population, prone to obesity.

    On the other hand, populations is the Mediterranean basin and people from countries where the cuisine is Chinese, Thai, Indian and other countries where food is still prepared from scratch shows that a more basic, less processed diet does produce healthier populations, especially when there are no draughts or famines.

    Populations eating more fruit and vegetables and less processed food are known to be less obese, less prone to age-related diseases and to have stronger immune systems.

    Additionally, populations in Japan where raw fish and to lesser degree, raw meat are eaten and the Inuit and other Northern tribes, where whale meat and raw blubber is ingested are known to have healthier hearts.

    (Sources:"The Living and Raw Foods F.A.Q." 1998. Living and Raw Foods. 31 03 2006. About.com)

    Raw Food Recipes

    Eating raw doesn't mean eating just salads and drinking fruit and vegetable juices. There are many delicious raw food recipes out there and below you are invited to share your favorites with our readers. If we get enough recipes, we will open a page on raw food recipes in our general section on

    healthy recipes.

    Have A Raw Food Recipe You'd Like To Share ?

    Do you have a great recipe using totally raw ingredients you'd like to share with age-well.org readers? Just click here and complete this form and you can share it here. It's Simple!


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