Raw Food Diet Benefits, complications, and tips to do it
Raw food diet has been around since ages. However, in the past few years, this diet has gained a lot of popularity. Raw food diet is not your usual ‘crash diet’. It is, in fact, a lifestyle choice for a large group of people. It comes with its own share of benefits and complications, therefore, if you want to give it a try, you must do it right.
So, what is a raw food diet? Also, known as ‘Raw Foodism’ and ‘Raw Veganism’, this diet is composed of mainly plant-based, unprocessed, and raw food. The heating temperature should stay below 48-degree C for the food to be considered raw. Also, it shouldn’t be refined, pasteurized or treated with pesticides, otherwise it becomes processed and this diminishes its raw factor. Although raw food diet is mostly plant-based, some people consume raw eggs, dairy, raw fish, and even raw meat.
Benefits of Raw Food Diet
Raw food diet comes with a ton of benefits and there are three types of Raw food diets. The first one is raw vegetarian where people eat only plant-based food combined with dairy. The second one is the raw vegan diet where people eat only plant-based food and forgo animal-based products, even dairy. The last one is the raw omnivorous diet where people consume both plant and animal-based food.
- It detoxes and cleanses the body
- It lowers inflammation
- It helps improve your digestion
- It provides more dietary fiber
- It can improve your heart health
- Liver function gets normalized
- You will almost never experience constipation
- You may feel an increase in your energy levels
- It will clear the skin
- It may prevent nutrition deficiency
- It helps maintain your ideal body weight
- Decrease in the amount of antinutrients and carcinogens in your diet
Who can actually benefit from the raw food diet?
It is especially beneficial for people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, osteoporosis, kidney disease, gallbladder disease, Parkinson’s disease, auto-immune disorder, food allergies, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pains, headaches, PMS, hormonal imbalance, and also if you want to lose weight.
How to start a raw food diet?
Now, you don’t have to forbid yourself from eating a cooked meal right from the start. It is all about finding the correct balance. You can start slow or consume some food that is lightly cooked according to your preference. So, let us start with all the stuff you can eat. They are; all fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds, raw grains and legumes (sprouted and soaked would do), dry fruits, nut milks, raw nut butters, cold-pressed olive and coconut oils, fermented food (such as kimchi), seaweed, raw eggs and dairy, and lastly, raw meat and fish.
Now, here is a list of stuff you cannot consume in a raw food diet. They are; cooked food, baked food, roasted food, refined oils, table salt, refined sugar and flour, pasteurized juice and dairy, coffee, tea, alcohol, pasta, pastries, chips, all other processed snacks and food items.
Beginner’s tips to start a raw food diet
- Start slow. You can opt for a green smoothie or fresh cut fruits for your breakfast, followed by a salad or a raw soup as a pre-meal appetizer (before your lunch) and do the same for dinner. This way, you can transition slowly.
- If you are accustomed to frequent snacking, then go for fresh fruits, raw veggie sticks, juices, or just plain water.
- Start reducing and slowly eliminating the junk food, processed food, caffeine, alcohol, etc. from your life.
- Another method you can try is, pick a day and go 100% raw for a couple of days. Next week, instead of 2 days, do 3 and just keep increasing it.
- Finally, if you think you are up to it, you can simply start.
Dangers of Raw Food Diet
- Following a raw food diet can make you deficient in Vitamin B12. And, this vitamin is highly necessary for a proper brain function. Deficiency in B12 can lead to tiredness, constipation, reduced appetite, soreness in the mouth, tingling sensation in hands and legs, depression, poor memory, and confusion. Treatments for this include; oral supplements and injections.
- It can increase the risk of cholesterol problems because it can interfere with your good cholesterol.
- A raw food diet is a low-calorie diet. Hence, there are possibilities of developing a poor bone density.
- There are a few food items which must not be consumed raw or they must be at least treated with caution as they can be toxic when consumed raw. They are; Buckwheat, kidney beans, alfalfa sprouts, cassava, pea seeds, apricot kernels, parsnips, raw eggs, meat, and milk.
- When you opt for a raw food diet, the risks of food poisoning increases. So, always clean the veggies and fruits methodically to avoid it.
The purpose of this blog is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health and wellness topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.