The Health Benefits Of A Raw Food Diet

By Melissa Foster

Cooking and processing foods can result in a loss of nutrients and the destruction of certain enzymes. Some people choose not to do this and to eat foods that have been processed in different ways such as dehydration, juicing, soaking, blending and sprouting. Eating a raw food diet often results in an increase in energy and loss of weight.

People who follow this way of eating often experience health benefits. More dietary fiber improves their digestion and prevents them from becoming constipated. The fact that they do not eat baked or processed foods means that many unhealthy snacks with high fat and sugar content are eliminated. It is easier to maintain an alkaline balance in the body when eating in this way and this helps to reduce inflammation which is the root of many diseases.

Foods that can be eaten include all fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nut milks and butters, seaweed, sprouts, nuts and seeds. Cold-pressed olive and coconut oils, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi are popular. Some people eat raw eggs, meat and fish.

Cooked meats, fruits, vegetables and grains are not eaten by people following this way of eating. Refined flours, grains and sugars are also avoided which eliminates white rice, bread and sugary snacks. It's best to check labels on products. Sometimes products that may appear to be unrefined may have hidden ingredients.

A typical breakfast may consist of a green smoothie, soaked oats with berries or overnight oatmeal with nuts and fruits. Lunch may consist of a salad with avocado or figs and nuts. Dinner may come in the form of stuffed portabello mushrooms or zucchinni noodle pasta with basil and tomato sauce. It is even possible to make an uncooked pizza with a nutty buckwheat crust and a cheese made from nuts. Snacks include freshly squeezed juice, nuts, carrots and apples.

Transitioning gradually towards this lifestyle has a number of benefits. It can be quite intimidating to try and go all out right away. It takes a while to learn new methods of preparing food and stocking up on good recipes. Checking with a health practitioner is also important. Pregnant women, for example, may be advised not to eat this way.

Most people who embrace this lifestyle experience weight loss. Sometimes this weight loss is too dramatic. Losing weight gradually is more healthy and better sustained over time. Individuals need to monitor their weight loss or they could lose too much weight which has negative health consequences.

Grains, eggs, meat and fish contain vitamin B12, iron and protein which is essential for good health. These foods taste better when cooked and not eating them could lead to deficiencies in these nutrients. Some people still eat these foods raw but others choose not to eat them at all. A lack in vitamin B12 can severely damage the health so it may need to be supplemented. Sufficient iron and protein can be obtained from non-animal sources.

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