Are you planning to follow a diet plan composed of foods that are in their most natural/organic form? Then the raw food diet is perfect for you. Free of overly processed foods that can harm your health, this way of eating gained a lot of attention lately due to its many health benefits.
However, before starting on the journey of eating only raw and natural foods, it’s best to gather information about raw food diet benefits and risks, so you’ll know whether it’s safe for you.
What is a Raw Food Diet?
This diet refers to a way of eating, which requires you to increase your intake of fruits, veggies, grains, beans, nuts and seeds in their uncooked, unprocessed and raw forms. You’ll know if food is raw and organic if it is uncooked yet, or if it is prepared without exceeding the temperature of 111-118°F or 44-48°C. Cooking below these temperatures ensures that the foods will retain their essential vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients.
The Raw Food Benefits
Are you wondering what the raw food diet can offer you? Then here are just some of them:
Organic and raw foods contain up to 300% more minerals, vitamins, and nutrients than foods that were grown conventionally. This means that you’ll get superior nutrition from them. You can also reduce your intake of heavy metals and chemicals since the foods are wholly natural. They did not undergo extensive processing, so they don’t contain anything that is harmful to your health.
In fact, most chefs cook recipes using organic ingredients since these are more flavorful than processed and artificial ones.
Offers protection against cancer
Eating foods, especially broccoli and garlic, in their raw forms is good for you if you want to protect yourself against cancer. These raw foods have high anti-cancer properties plus they can also prevent high blood pressure. Make sure, however, that you are taking them in their most natural forms, so your body can easily absorb their nutrients.
Other benefits that you can get from sticking to a raw food diet are the following:
- Reduces your exposure to carcinogens that usually come from overly processed foods
- Fights anemia
- Strengthens your immune system
- Higher energy level
- Better sleep
- Improves skin condition
- Makes you look and feel younger
- Helps you lose weight
The Raw Food Diet Risks
Note, however, that despite the many benefits that the raw food diet offers, it also comes with its own risks. One risk is that you may lose too much weight from it. In fact, some of those who follow a strict, raw diet plan reported that their body weight dropped to a dangerously low level.
You may also be at risk of dealing with cholesterol problems since the diet may hinder the production of good cholesterol or HDL. Note that some of the foods that are supposed to increase your HDL level, like fish and seafood, whole grain cereals and bread, are restricted or prohibited in this diet plan, thereby causing problematic cholesterol levels.
Protein and enough vitamin b12 are other things the raw food eater should worry about. Also, some foods are actually more nutritious when cooked.
A raw food diet is not for everyone. You will have to do your homework and make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Gathering information about raw food diet benefits and risks is your key to understanding it and determining whether it is right for you. Weigh its pros and cons, and decide whether you are up for it or not. Adding tons of raw veggies and fruits is definitely a good thing to do, but no harm done in cooking your veggies either.