The raw food diet has a number of health benefits. Proponents say that eating a raw food diet is more nutritious because cooking food destroys the helpful enzymes that could help your body better absorb nutrients. Raw food diets are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and they can help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Here are some tips to help you start a raw food diet.
1) Do Your Homework
You should never start any new diet without doing thorough research. Use the Internet or read some of the following books:
- Raw Family: A True Story of Awakening by Victoria Boutenko
- Eating without Heating: Favorite Recipes from Teens Who Love Raw Food, by Sergei and Valya Boutenko
- Living on Live Food, by Alissa Cohen
Use Internet forums and local community groups to meet and share ideas with other raw foodists. They can give you advice and share helpful recipes.
2) Buy Good Kitchen Equipment
Before you begin your raw food diet, make sure you have all the quality kitchen appliances and equipment you need to suit your needs. Sharp knives, a food processor and a juicer can be helpful, as well as a food dehydrator.
3) Make the Switch Slowly
Don’t try to go from a high fat, high sugar, meat heavy diet to a raw food diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes all at once. Make the switch slowly by gradually incorporating more and more raw foods into your diet. Fruit juices are a good way to incorporate some raw foods into your diet; that’s why having a juicer is important to the raw food diet. It means that you can make your own healthy juices at home. Eventually, your diet will consist of at least 75% percent raw, uncooked foods (or foods that haven’t been heated about 116 degrees F) and 15% cooked foods (foods that have been heated about 116 degrees F).
4) Eat a Varied Diet
The more variety in your raw food diet, the better your nutrition and the more interesting the diet will remain. Try to stick to organic produce as much as possible, and make sure you include plenty of nuts, seeds and legumes in your raw food diet.
5) Experiment with Food Preparation and Cooking Styles
Many raw food diet proponents feel that presenting your food in an appealing way offers a psychological boost that makes maintaining a raw food diet easier, so you may want to experiment with making your raw food meals look more visually appealing. Fresh sprouts are a great way to get raw legumes like beans and nuts into your diet, and homemade fruit juices are also an easy way to eat more raw foods. Soak beans and nuts to make them soft for blending and mashing, and don’t forget to enjoy dried fruit as a tasty snack. Consider investing in a solar oven, which heats food with minimal heat; this way, you can enjoy hot dishes without heating your food above 116 degrees F.