Let’s take a look at the Raw Food diet and try to get an understanding of what it implies. A raw food lifestyle is also known as raw veganism. People who are into this diet eat uncooked fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. The food can be heated between 115-118 degrees Fahrenheit but some has suggested it even has low as 104 degrees. This type of eating grew popular in the 1990s, with celebrities picking up the diet for various reasons, but the raw foodists began to appear in the 1960s.
A majority of people think of diets has “rabbit food”. Mainly lettuce, salads, raw vegetables and some fruit. But if people would look deeper into diets; they will see it’s not rabbit food but a change of your eating habits. Eating habits are the hardest habits for people to change. These diets help people transform their eating habits into making better choices and teach them how to eat. The backbone behind the raw foodists is that they say cooking the food denatures the enzymes that are present in the food.
The enzymes are the life force in the food and it helps digest the food and helps absorb the nutrients. When we over eat cooked food, our bodies have to work harder and it causes our bodies to produce more enzymes. So over a period of years the enzymes from the over cooked food become less and less and then this leads to digestive issues nutrient deficiency, weight gain because our body can break down the food because of the lack of enzymes. The raw foodists say that cooking food can cut down its nutritional value and that uncooked foods provide living enzymes and proper nutrition.
Many people say that there are great benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion and reduced risk of heart disease. All you need is a high quality blender, food processor and a dehydrator for food preparation. They should be of high quality and have many varied setting and accessories as they will be used constantly. A stove or oven is not needed for this way of eating. If your diet consists of at least 75% raw food, you are a raw foodist. This trend has created some raw food restaurants opening in most major cities across the United States.
It does still take a lot of time to prepare the food like chopping, blending and crisping takes time.
It is interesting to note that the raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat. This diet also has low sodium in it but it is high in magnesium and potassium, fiber, folate and health-promoting antioxidants. Now let’s take look at what you can eat while on this diet so that people can have a better understanding.
For a good source of amino acids and protein raw nuts and seeds are good but high in fat and at times difficult to digest.
Nuts and Seeds
Germination is soaking the nuts and seeds in water for a specific amount of time. The recommended germination varies from 2 hours (for cashews) up to one day (for mung beans).
Pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pecans, flaxseed, Brazil nuts, chia seeds.
Sprouts are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and enzymes. You can make a meal with them by adding them to a salad, making hummus or eat them by themselves.
Bean Sprouts: Green, Cow, Speckled, and Bill Jump Peas, Green Lentils, Black, Brown and Beige Garbanzos, Adzuki, Mung, Peanut, Black, Crimson, Eston.
Leafy Sprouts: Clover, Alfalfa, Radish, Fenugreek, Cress, Dill.
Brassica Sprouts: Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Rutabaga, Turnip.
Another good source of protein and calories are Raw Grains. This will be good for those who are just starting on a Raw Food Diet.
Oats, Wheat, Barley, Rye, Sesame, Buckwheat groats(hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant), Hard Winter Wheat, Spelt, Quinoa, Millet.
Raw Meat and Dairy
Organic dairy is an excellent source of B12. Fish is on this list because some people do like raw fish.
Fish, Honey, Milk(non-pasteurized, non-homogenized milk) and Cheese (preferably goats), Eggs, Butter.
Break down the fruit into categories so that some people can grasp how the Raw Foodists thinks.
Fruits that are sweet
Banana, Plantain, Persimmon, Date, Dried Fruit, Fig, Sapote.
Fruits that are melons
Watermelon, Honeydew, Cantaloupe
Melons are high in water content and this makes it easier for a person to digest it. Melons and sweet fruits will help crave your sweet tooth.
Watermelon is one of those most alkalizing foods you can eat.
Fruits that are acid
Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Pineapple, Blueberry, Strawberry, Tangelo, Tangerine, Pomegranate, Passion Fruit, Tomato
These are low in sugar and good for those who is starting into the Raw Food Diet.
Fruits that are sub acid
Apple, Kiwi, Cherry, Grape, Blackberry, Raspberry, Pear, Plum, Mango, Kumquat, Papaya, Peach, Prune, Nectarine, Apricot, Guava, Mulberry
The Raw Foodists says you can have has much as you would like..since these are most peoples favorite fruits.
Fruits that are fatty
Avocado, Coconut, Durian, Olive
Eat these in moderation even though they are good for you but high in fats.
Fruits that are non-sweet
Cucumber, Eggplant, Squash, Tomato (also an acid fruit), Bell Peppers
These are considered a fruit because they have seeds.
A list of vegetables that is a great resource tool to plan a raw food diet menu.
Leafy Greens (Leafy greens are a alkaline food that offer an abundance of calcium and protein)
Spinach, Butterhead, Red and Green Romaine, Iceberg, Red and Green Leaf, Swiss Chard, Dandelions, Endive, Sorrels, Cos, Escarole, Red and Green Oak, Lolla Rosa, Tango, Celery
Sea Vegetables: (Key mineral is iodine to maintain a healthy thyroid gland)
Organic Kelp, Dulse, Hijiki, Arame, Nori, Wakame, Sea Lettuce, Kombu.
Cruciferous Vegetables: (high cellulose content)
Organic Kale, Collards, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Radishes, Kohlrabi, Broccoli Rabe, Bok Choy, Horseradish, Turnip, Rutabaga, Mustard greens, Arugula, Watercress, Wasabi.
Vegetables that are Tubers (Root Vegetables that should be cooked)
Beets, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Carrots, Parsnips, Radish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Rutabaga
Vegetables that are Squashes: (Other foods that are better off cooked)
Pumpkin, Zucchini, Spaghetti, Hubbard, Delicata, Butternut, Yellow and Acorn Squashes.
Important to note that people that have a history of eating disorders or are underweight should consult their Doctors before starting a Raw Food Diet.
People who have hypoglycemia or diabetes should use caution if they are on a Raw Food Diet. The antioxidants, vegetables, and fiber can be very helpful, if it’s done improperly (over consuming fruit juices) may worsen the condition.