The raw food diet is not just a diet, but it is the key to living a long and healthy life. It is a raw plant-based diet where you avoid all animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs, and you do not cook your foods. Food is considered to be raw if it has not been processed or heated above 115 degrees F.
Because this diet does not allow you to consume foods from all food groups, many questions are raised as to how you can obtain proper nutrition, and whether or not this eating plan is good for you. But studies show that those who are on the raw food diet are healthier and live longer.
How is it Good for You?
The raw food diet allows you to eat your food while it is still “alive.” This means all the enzymes, minerals and vitamins are in their natural state when you eat the food.
Enzymes are essential for you to digest your food. Your body can create its own, but they are not as effective as those that you can get from raw foods. Minerals in their raw and organic state are much easier for the body to absorb than after they have been altered by heat. Plus, when you eat your foods raw you get more vitamins, as cooking destroys most of them.
Most raw foods have an alkalizing effect on the body, which helps you balance your pH levels. But cooked vegetables become acidic, and therefore make you more prone to diseases.
Replacing the Nutrients
Meat contains the highest amounts of proteins, and therefore many people believe that when they stop eating meat they will not get enough protein. But the truth is that raw nuts as well as dark leafy green vegetables contain enough protein to keep the body functioning at its best.
When you think of calcium you probably think of milk, but did you know that by adding lots of leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli to your diet that you can get all the calcium your body needs? Sesame seeds, almonds and figs are also good sources of calcium.
A vitamin B12 deficiency is often associated with a vegetarian diet because this vitamin is only found in animal proteins. But a vegetarian diet allows you to cook your foods which destroys the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes which your body needs in order to be healthy. If you eat your foods raw, your digestive system will have the necessary enzymes to produce its own vitamin B12, and thus you do not have to worry about a deficiency.
To get your selenium, simply eat Brazil nuts, and for zinc add in some raw cashews, pecans or almonds. Raw nuts as well as avocados will provide you with all the essential fatty acids which your body needs, thus eliminating the need for fish.
Switching to the raw food diet is essential for optimal health, but at the same time it can be hard on the body both physically and emotionally. Therefore, it is not recommended to make the change overnight, but rather start adding in more raw foods gradually so your body can adjust.