The raw food diet is a growing sensation all over the world. Raw food has a variety of health and fitness benefits, and its rules include eating only unfrozen, unprocessed, plant-based foods which have never been exposed to temperatures above 115 degrees. This diet requires effort and motivation but provides great results.
- Food poisoning may occur when consuming uncooked food. When food is cooked, harmful bacteria are exposed to high temperatures and killed, while uncooked foods leave us at risk. For this reason, when preparing to consume raw foods, be sure to thoroughly wash the foods and have them stored in the appropriate environments and temperatures.
- For the same reasons, unpasteurized milk is a no-no. It is extremely dangerous as it can lead to serious bacterial infections. However, you can eliminate dairy from your diet to avoid these risks and stay loyal to the raw food diet. This can be done by substituting animal milk with nut milks like almond milk, sesame milk, coconut milk or cashew milk that can be found in local grocery stores or can be made using a juicer. These milks are creamy and delicious and also provide necessary protein to your daily diet
That said, here are the top 10 benefits of going on a raw food diet.
- Increase fruit consumption – The majority of a raw food diet consists of vitamin-rich, wonderfully sweet fresh fruits. Fruits are mild in calories and leave you feeling energized and satisfied. When fruits are eaten whole, their fiber aids in slow, healthy digestion that leaves the body feeling replenished and controls your appetite. Fruits can also be blended or juiced to add tasty variety to the raw diet.
- Increase vegetable consumption – Vegetables provide minerals and a low amount of protein to the raw food diet. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are high in protein, which is necessary for muscle repair and growth. Going on a raw food diet provides daily helpings of vegetables and their accompanying nutrients and can be constructed in smoothies, salads and sides.
- Balances nutrition – Not only does the raw food diet consist of enough carbohydrates, protein, and fats for a healthy, balanced diet, but it also has the right kinds of foods for each of these categories. Eating grains, animal products and processed foods in excess can lead to an improper diet and excess or lack in essential nutrients. Eating raw makes the body feel clean and light, not bogged down and sluggish.
- Consume simple carbohydrates – The raw diet consists of fresh, plant-based foods which are easily digested by the body. Foods, whether they be fats, sugars or proteins, must be converted by the body into usable energy, and the simple carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables can be processed with little bodily effort.
- Gluten-free – Eating a low-gluten or gluten-free diet is highly recommended if you are health-conscious. Gluten, which is found in grains, is not easily digested by the body and is free of nutritional content. Since grains require cooking to be digested, they are completely eliminated on a raw food diet.
- Low-fat – The body does not actually need a 20% fat diet, but in fact can function on as little as 10% fat intake.The raw diet is extremely low in fat, and consists primarily of carbohydrates and protein. This is beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. The fats that are consumed on a raw food diet are unsaturated fats, coming from nuts, seeds, and avocados. Unsaturated fats are much healthier and are less likely to lead to weight gain.
- Unaltered vitamins – Foods lose a majority of their nutritional content when they are cooked or frozen. The full potential of plant-based foods is unlocked when they are eaten fully raw. This diet is not only lean, but it is also extremely healthy as it is more packed with vitamins and nutrients than any other diet.
- Heart-healthy – Without any animal products or added salt, the raw food diet is very low-cholesterol and low-sodium, which reduces the risk of heart diseases. This allows your heart to pump more efficiently and increase the efficiency of blood flow.
- Regulates digestion – The easily digested plant products consumed in the raw food diet are processed by the body efficiently, which leads to quick digestion. When digestion occurs quickly, for example over the course of 24 hours as opposed to 72, it reduces the quantity of food sitting and rotting in the digestive system. Quick digestion is necessary for proper digestive system health.
- No going hungry – Arguably the best part of eating a raw diet is that there is no calorie restriction! As long as you are eating raw, plant-based foods, you can have as much as you want! This is different from practically all other diets, which leave you feeling deprived and your stomach feeling empty. On a raw diet, fill your tummy with as much wonderful fruits and veggies as your heart desires!
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