The raw food diet has been making headlines in recent years, but what exactly is considered raw food? There are a few variations of this diet, but basically, raw food is the consumption of (preferably organic) fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts in their natural state, meaning uncooked. Some people consume 100% raw food diet, and consider themselves ‘100% raw’, ‘raw vegan’, ‘beegan’, ‘fruitarian’, to name a few. Some individuals incorporate a large amount of raw foods in their diet on a daily basis, but still consume cooked foods. These individuals consider themselves ‘high raw’. My intention is not to support any particular label. Instead, I promote the belief that the consuming raw foods as the primary staple is the foundation to achieving optimal health.
When food is baked, fried, or steamed, it is exposed to high temperatures. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above approximately 48° C/118° F is very destructive to vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, all of which are crucial in fighting diseases and cancer. Cooking also dehydrates the food, creating a heavier sensation in the gut. The consumption of large amounts of concentrated, cooked food can cause fatigue as the body struggles to digest it.
Raw food has a lighter feeling in the stomach, and is not taxing to your digestive system. Your body knows exactly what to do with food in its natural state. The high water content present in raw food gives you a feeling of light fullness while enabling the transport of the vital nutrients throughout the body.
It is important to remember that raw, uncooked, natural foods have a very low caloric content. So, including more raw foods in the diet means having to eat more, and frequently. Mother Nature has the perfect design, in that consuming raw foods every few hours throughout the day stabilizes blood sugar, virtually eliminating the craving for coffee or a nap.
For some folks, eating raw may sound extreme. Many assume they will be left with limited food choices and eating salads 3 times a day. At this point, no one actually has an accurate count of how many fruits and vegetables are on the planet, but I assure you the choices are NOT limited! Did you know, there are as many as 1,600 varieties of bananas and approximately 4,000 varieties of tomatoes? Farmer’s markets and health food stores, such as Whole Foods, are a great place to find varieties not normally found in your local grocery store.
I have been following the raw food lifestyle for a decade and I can’t begin to express how amazing you will feel when you begin to consume large quantities of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. I hope you have found this information encouraging, as it is well worth a try! There is a wealth of information out there on raw foods. Some is accurate, some is not. Do your own research so as to make an informed decision. I have included a list of some of my favorite websites below for your enjoyment: