What is a Raw Food Diet? And What are the Benefits of a Raw Food Diet?
an article by Cecilia Kinzie
"Eating primarily raw foods is a gentle,
delicious, nature oriented, and gradual way to restore health”
- Gabriel Cousins M.D. Excerpted from Conscious Eating
“ To be truly healthy and to ensure adequate
protection from environmental hazards and pollution it is important that
you get an abundance of vital nutrients from live, uncooked foods, and
-Ann Wigmore Excerpted from The Hippocrates Diet
The Raw Food Diet is a pure vegetarian diet consisting of mostly raw organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds . Food is consumed in it’s natural whole state and not heated above 118º F.
Why Raw Food?
Many people ask me, Why Raw Foods? And this is what I tell them:
When you eat foods in their whole natural state all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fats, phytonutrients, bioflavonoids, and plant hormones remain intact and ready for assimilation by the body.
Doctors recommend at least 9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables for optimum health; the raw food diet takes it a step further by increasing the intake of the amazing health promoting substances found in fresh produce.
Here are just a few of the healing substances found in fresh produce and researchers are discovering new ones all the time.
Bioflavanoids– naturally occurring plant compounds that are: antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, and promote structure and function in the circulatory system..
Phytonutrients-concentrated in the skin of many fruits and vegetables. Potent antioxidants that can neutralize free radical damage. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances that can lead to premature aging and disease.
Why Not Cook Your Food?
A variety of research has shown that cooking food
above 118 º F and above:
Destroys a good percentage of heat sensitive nutrients.
Destroys the nutritive value of fat, and cooked fat has been shown to contain carcinogenic substances and free radicals.
Alters protein into substances that disrupt cellular function and speed up the disease and aging process.
Creates the formation of acrylamide that has been shown to cause cancer in animal tests and is toxic to the nervous system of both humans and animals. Acrylamide is especialy present in cooked starchy foods such as grains and potatos.
What are the Benefits of a Raw Food Diet?
Raw Diet Benefits:
* Many people have found that on a mostly raw food diet:
Their energy level increases and they have more stamina
They naturally normalize to their ideal body weight
Their skin becomes clearer and they often start to look younger
Their mental alertness increases
They decrease their sleep needs by at least one hour
Their digestion improves and they become “regular”
They get less colds and flus than the general population
Many people have also seen improvements in chronic health conditions such as asthma, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders. Even if you decide not to eat a completely raw food diet you will notice positive improvements just by adding more raw organic fruits and vegetables in your diet.
*These statements are from anecdotal evidence and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Before you embark on a new diet regime please consult with your health care provider.
What is a Raw Food Diet?
What exactly is a raw food diet? Well, typically most people on the raw food diet eat fresh organic fruits, fruit smoothies or vegetable juices for breakfast. For lunch they might eat more fruit or a vegetable dish. For dinner they might eat a large salad with a creamy nut or seed based dressing or avocado. Once you learn how to prepare raw foods you can make raw food dishes such as raw pizza, raw lasagna, raw spaghetti, raw crackers, raw nut or seed pates, raw tacos, blended raw soups . . . (etc.) With a little creativity and the right kitchen tools the possibilities are endless. To get started right away just start adding more fresh fruits and vegetables into your routine. Add a smoothie or piece of fruit to your breakfast and a large salad at lunch and dinner. Snack on fresh organic fruit, vegetable sticks, low temperature dried fruits, or a handful of raw organic nuts and seeds.
What Raw Items Can I Buy at my Local Health Food Store?
Organic Produce: including all organic fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and wheatgrass.
Raw items in the bulk department such as: organic raw nuts and seeds, low temperature dehydrated fruits, and various seaweeds and algae.
Thai or Mexican Young Coconuts. Also know as Green or White Coconuts.
Raw nut and seed butters ( ex: :raw almond butter, hemp seed butter, and tahini.)
Raw fermented cabbage sauerkraut
Prepared low temp. dehydrated raw food snacks such as energy bars, crackers, chips, seasoned nuts and seeds, cookies, brownies, and raw candies.
Some health food stores might even have prepared raw foods in the deli or refrigerated section. Typically you will find raw desserts, raw pizza, raw dips and pâtés, raw salad dressings, and salads.
If your local health food store has a juice/smoothie bar you can ask for a fresh raw vegetable or fruit juice or a raw fruit smoothie. Fresh wheatgrass juice might also be available.
If you local health food store does not carry these items please feel free to request them.
Click below for a FREE 2 page raw foods list of what I consider to be the essential raw food pantry items that you need in your kitchen in order to be successful with the raw diet and a FREE Raw Food Starter Guide ebook that has 10 easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus tips to get you on a fast track towards healthy eating! Click Here for a Raw Foods List.
For more information about the raw food diet
please check out my rawfood ebook and raw food recipe ebooks.
To learn more about what is the raw food diet and why you should eat raw foods go to the Raw Glow Blog.