Raw foods are an essential part of any food diet. Research shows that a raw food diet provides more nutrients than a diet of foods that have been processed and pasteurized. When foods are processed, they lose a significant part of their nutritional value during the manufacturing process. The benefits of a raw food diet include, but are not limited to, increased energy, weight loss, clear skin, improved digestive function and better overall health.
What Are Raw Foods?
Raw foods are foods that are uncooked, unprocessed, unheated and unpasteurized. All foods contain enzymes before they are cooked. When food is heated to a certain degree, it kills the enzymes in the food. Enzymes are good for the maintaining of a healthy digestive track and assist in the digestion of food. Foods that are cooked lose their nutritional value and contain the highest amount of nutrients in its raw form.
People on a raw food diet do not consume food that has been cooked to temperatures beyond 115 degrees. Raw foods are also a great source of natural energy. Organic foods are a good choice for raw foods because they do not contain harmful pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or other manmade chemicals. Most raw food diets consist of raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, beans, nuts, sprouts, roots, seaweed, herbs and spices. When choosing a raw diet, there are things you can do to keep your meals exciting so that you do not get bored eating the same things repetitively.
1. Add Exotic Fruits
Exotic fruits can add a sweet touch to any meal. Star fruit, passion fruit, lychee, jackfruit, kumquat and African cucumber are all exotic fruits that will compliment any salad.
2. Try a New Vegetable
Eating the same vegetables can get boring. To spice up your taste buds, try a not-so-common veggie. Some veggies to try are New Zealand yams, Jerusalem artichokes and winged beans.
3. Try a New Recipe
With many consumers opting for a healthier lifestyle, there are dozens of new recipes out there specifically for those on raw food diets. Consider a spicy cold mango and ginger soup or a “raw” alfredo sauce over your veggies.
4. Add a Variety of Milks
Add a variety of milks to enhance your meals. Homemade cashew milk is the perfect compliment. Also, try almond and coconut milk.
5. Make Your Favorite Dishes from Raw Foods
No need to pass on the guacamole; simply get some organic avocados, tomatoes, seasonings and make your own. Love applesauce? Get your blender out, your favorite apples, cinnamon and lemon juice; you will have applesauce in seconds. Peanut butter and jams are easy to make, as well as your favorite veggie dip.
6. Get Creative
Your imagination is the limit when coming up with new meals. Love the taste of raisins and apples? Mix away. Mix all your favorites to come up with exciting variations to your favorite meals.
7. Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables
Grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs right in your back yard. This will help keep you busy and keep the raw food diet interesting.