If you are interested in saving a bit of money on your gas or electric bill, you might consider giving the raw food diet a try. The idea behind the raw food diet is that heating food destroys nutrients and enzymes that are healthy for you, so you don’t cook anything!
Enzymes found in food are very important to our health because they help fight off chronic disease, and they also help aid digestion.
In the raw food diet, you can only eat things that haven’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, genetically engineered, or exposed to pesticides or herbicides. The rule is that the food temperature can’t be raised above 104-118ºF. Raw foodists claim that if we over-consume cooked food, our bodies have to work twice as hard to break it down and extract the nutrients. The cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Vitamin C and folate can also be destroyed by heating. However, there are many foods that become more nutritious after being cooked! Tomatoes, for example, have 3-4x more lycopene than uncooked tomatoes.
There is also evidence that heat can not only destroy healthy nutrients, but it can also create harmful chemical compounds as a byproduct of cooking. Check out this article by the National Cancer Institute to learn more about what you can do to prevent this from happening.
One thing that can definitely be said for the raw food diet is that you will likely loose weight while you are on it. All raw foods are low in sugar, sodium, fat, and they are high in fibre. They are also full of vitamins and minerals.
The drawbacks include the lack of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12, all of which are found mostly in animal products. Most raw foodies supplement their diet with multi-vitamins, calcium supplements, and protein powders. Alternatively, some people follow a mostly raw diet, and will eat raw 70% of the time, and cooked meats, cheeses, and breads the other 30% of the time. If you are 100% fully raw, you can also eat carpaccio, sashimi, and other raw meats.
However, if you are both vegan and raw, you must ensure that you get enough nutrients in your diet.
If you can’t fully commit to the raw food lifestyle, don’t worry. To be honest, I find the raw food diet too limiting and not conducive to my social life. I enjoy dinner parties, going out for drinks and meals, and not being a hassle at family dinners. Plus, I love food. I wouldn’t want to cut out all my favourite cooked foods!
If you are like me, then I recommend trying a raw food cleanse. Anywhere from 3-21 days of eating fully raw can be great for your digestive system, skin, and weight. If you notice a difference in how you feel, then keep going with it! If you feel hungry, weak, and tired, then try a 70% raw/30% whatever you want diet.
The best part of the raw food diet is that you really should be including raw food into your diet anyways, so increasing the amount you are getting is not going to be a bad thing.
If you are looking for some recipe inspiration for your raw food diet, Fully Raw Kristina has some amazing fully raw recipes that look, well, good enough to eat! Check out some of her pictures below, and visit her fully raw website for more inspiration.
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