Why You Should be Eating Raw
A Raw food diet is completely different to any other fad diet or health trend circulating the health and fitness community. As a matter of fact, it’s not really a diet at all rather more of a lifestyle focusing on promoting a healthy intake of nutrient dense foods, in their natural, raw state.
The central aim of ‘eating raw’ is to increase our nutritional intake in a natural and easy-to-digest way that our bodies have evolved to suit. If you’re not ready to go completely raw or even convert to raw veganism, you can still reap the amazing health benefits by consuming as many raw vegetables and fruits every day as you can, while reducing your intake of processed produce, trans-fats and cooked foods. Within this article, we will take a look at why a raw diet works and the incredible health benefits associated with one.
Helps to Fight Disease
Raw foodism is accompanied by a catalogue of incredible health advantages to help you fight and prevent disease and illness. It has been associated with improving digestion, lowering inflammation, increasing dietary fiber and boosting energy. A raw diet is also endorsed for its preventive qualities, as it helps to prevent cancer, constipation and a wide variety of nutrient deficiencies.
A raw diet can also be enlisted to aid in the management of the bodies natural acidity levels. It can help to alkalize the body and significantly reduce the possibility of fermentation in the gut, as well as inflammation and autoimmune reactions. A raw lifestyle can help with diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, gallbladder disease and heart disease. It can also help with fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and headaches. Another benefit accompanying a raw diet is the positive impact it can have on our bodies hormones. It can help control symptoms of PMS and promote a healthy and regular PMS cycle. It has also been found to aid hormonal imbalance and control weight gain.
Requires Less Cooking
A leading feature of a raw food diet is the method of food preparation. A raw food diet operates by eating food in a natural state and reducing the amount we cook our food. It advises that we consume at least 75% of our diet raw. Research has found that food heated above 112 degrees celcius loses its key enzymes. Although the cooking temperature also varies from food to food, most foods high in antioxidants have a low heat labile point, so cooking at a high temperature results in a significant depletion of its nutritional value. Digestive enzymes are employed by the body to break down foods into more concise and manageable nutritional forms. Enzymes are important as its not just the amount of nutrients a food has, but also our bodies ability to break them down and absorb them. While our bodies can produce endogenous enzymes, eating raw foods can increase our exogenous enzymes. This consequently improves our ability to digest foods and decrease our nutrient dissipation.
Helps Control Acidity
Raw foods can also play an important role in controlling the acidity level of the body. Cooking foods can create even more acidity when consumed. Raw foods can help by neutralising acid and alkalizing the body. The body can already become overly acidic due to external factors like environmental pollutants, stress, processed foods and mineral-deficient water. It’s important that we maintain a healthy level of acidity within the body as diseases are more likely to develop when it rises. Raw foods help to combat this and maintain a healthy range of acidity.he pH of
The pH of food is determined based on the residue left in the body after it has metabolized. Our blood and body tissue is naturally more alkaline, so is suited to foods that break down into alkaline elements. Raw fruits and vegetables are the foods most inclined to form alkaline, however whole grains, nuts and seeds are also alkaline forming. Foods like milk produce, meats and refined foods are the most acidic and should be avoided.
Going raw can also contribute to a balanced and healthy weight loss. Instead of relying on yo-yo dieting or quick fixes to shed those extra pounds, a raw diet provides a natural alternative. When you eat plenty of raw foods, you also consume plenty of nutrients and fiber which help you to feel fuller for longer. It can also help you curb cravings and prevent you from binging on unhealthy snacks.
Raw foods naturally contain less fat and calories than any other foods. Vegetables are lower in calories and higher in nutrients when compared to any food group, of the same volume. Fruits are the second lowest and can also raise blood sugar and reduce appetite, which can prevent weight gain, caused by unnecessary snacking on sugary foods. Consuming foods which have a high-water content will also contribute to weight loss due to the lower calorific value.
By filling up on greens and other raw foods, you can feel satisfied and increase energy while reducing your calorie consummation and achieving a healthy and sustainable weight loss.
What to Eat
While following a raw diet can limit the variety of foods you can eat, there are still plenty of delicious and nutritious options available to you. In addition to the abundance of healthy fruit and vegetable options, there is also the assortment of fish, sprouted grains, sea vegetables, seeds, nuts and eggs as well as some meat produce and raw dairy.
A balanced raw diet could include fresh and cultured vegetables, fruits, raw yogurt, coconut oil, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and avocados. You should aim to fill approximately half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruits. Replace trans and saturated fats with good, healthy fats. Nuts and seeds are a great snack to incorporate healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, while avocados and natural oils like coconut oil are a brilliant addition to meals and are full of healthy monosaturated fats. These anti-inflammatory foods can help you to combat bloating and sluggishness and leave you feeling healthy and energized.
Eating Raw and Eating Intuitively
When you start eating clean foods in a raw state, they often take more effort to eat than a plate of chips. You become more aware of what you’re consuming and really concentrate on what you’re putting in your body. When we eat processed foods, we tend to desensitize ourselves from it, due to the guilt that often follows wolfing down a greasy pizza. It can be easy to ignore the labels, which indicate that a product is full of chemicals and processed ingredients. While eating raw on the other hand, allows you to understand what you’re eating and feel better physically and mentally. By using mindful or intuitive eating, we are less likely to over-consume or binge on unhealthy snacks. A raw diet encourages us to enjoy our food and the best ingredients, really focusing on our meals and enjoying the time spent eating them.
Going Raw Can Change Your Taste Buds
Going raw can also vastly improve your taste buds. When you stop frequently consuming coffee, alcohol and other addictive, your body will stop craving them. By constantly fueling our bodies with stimulants or sugary foods, we begin to rely on them and crave them more – this is apparent in the expression ‘coffee fix’. If you replace sugary ingredients with alternatives like fruit; and substitute coffee with green tea or lemon water, you can wean yourself off this dependence and feel much healthier for it. Your taste buds will adapt to appreciating fruit as a healthy sweet treat and find that real sweets taste artificial and overly sweet.
When we consume foods that have been pasteurized, homogenized or produced with chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and food additives or taste enhancers, natural foods can seem boring and tasteless. However, by reducing our consumption of processed foods, we can retrain our taste buds to enjoy natural produce and appreciate the organic and unrefined aromas and flavors.
Know Your Nutrition
Another benefit of a raw food diet is how it impacts your perspective on health and nutrition. By taking your diet back to basics, you begin to learn more about the natural ingredients you’re consuming. Due to the nature of the lifestyle, it becomes inevitable that you will be preparing your own meals. Eating out can be pretty tricky on a raw diet, so you’ll be saving money too.
As you start cooking your own meals, you’ll get to know the nutritional value of your ingredients. Consider purchasing a raw or vegan cookbook or taking a raw cooking course. You’ll learn how to create natural and nutrient dense foods to boost your energy levels and have you feeling great! With the addition of healthy probiotics and supplements, you’ll be your own nutritionist in no time!
Fermented foods are another amazing benefit of raw foodism. They are one of the healthiest components of a raw food diet and are packed with naturally developed probiotics. The fermentation process is called lactofermentation and occurs when the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in food and create lactic acid. Not only does it preserve the food, but it also creates enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and probiotics. These probiotics or good bacteria that live in your gut, work by supporting your immune system and absorbing nutrients. They have also been found to preserve nutrients and break down food.
After your body begins clearing away waste and toxins, probiotic foods fill your gut with good microbiota. They help to boost your immune system and improve your digestive systems functionality, reducing the requirement for additional vitamins and supplements. They also help to manage hormonal balance, clear up skin and maintain a healthy weight.Try incorporating fermented foods into your diet, such as fermented yogurt and sourdough breads or cultured vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut and kyass and drinks like kombucha and water kefir. You should be feeling the benefits in no time!
A raw food diet can initially feel like a huge commitment. It can seem daunting and unappealing to cut so many foods from your diet, especially if you’re not already consuming a lot of raw foods. So take small steps. Remember it’s not a race and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Start by incorporating more raw produce and replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit and vegetables. You can then begin reducing the amount you cook foods, till roughly 75% of the products you’re consuming are raw.
Alongside a healthy fitness routine, a raw diet clearly has an abundance of benefits. It is a healthy, immune boosting lifestyle that can improve digestive function and prevent disease, in a holistic and natural way. Why not try going raw today and embrace a healthier and happier you!