Diet Facts and Fads: The Raw Diet

If you’re wondering which diets are worth your attention, I think I can help you understand more about how to eat well – from the perspective of a doc who knows how food works in your body.

Raw Raw Raw…Rawism

Perhaps you’ve noticed raw foods restaurants popping up in your area. Or, maybe you’ve seen raw food “cookbooks” and found yourself wondering what it means and why people do it?

 A Raw Food Diet (also referred to as “rawism”) includes – fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, sprouted grains and legumes, seeds and nuts – in their natural, most unprocessed state. The diet also includes animal products in their raw or unpasteurized state. (Many, but not all, raw food dieters are also vegan or vegetarian.)

The Raw Foods Diet includes dehydrated foods fruits and vegetables. While foods cannot be “cooked,” they can be heated at temperatures less than 118°F (warm to the touch). Above this temperature, foods start to lose their nutritional value and enzymes.

Benefits of Eating Raw

I enjoy eating raw foods. Consuming large amounts of raw foods can have wonderful, powerful effects on our bodies. Eating raw means that you end up replacing a lot of processed foods with fresh produce. This helps your body eliminate toxins, digest meat more efficiently, and even flush out excess hormones.

Rather than going 100% raw, I’d recommend adding raw foods to your diet. Many foods are more nutritious when consumed raw. Vitamins are fragile and food can lose it’s nutritional value when cooked. But studies have shown that some foods, like eggs and tomatoes, are more nutritious when cooked.

Going Raw:

Raw food practitioners often rely heavily on food processors, juicers, and food dehydrators, so those kale chips that you are addicted to can stay!

If going raw appeals to you, I encourage you to give it a try! Start small – try making small changes to your everyday meals to include more raw, plant based items.

  •  Add fresh fruit or raw nuts and seeds to your morning salad
  • Go heavy on the garnishes: try adding grated red cabbage, fresh salsas or fresh herbs to your meals
  • Pestos: these don’t need to be expensive or time-consuming. Pestos can be made in so many variations…you’d be amazed! Try kale and walnuts or parsley and almonds as a base. Get yourself a food processor and start experimenting. Pesto is a nutrient-rich flavor booster that goes great with so many foods.

 Joy Houston is a certified Raw Food Educator who helped inspire me in my own journey to eat more raw foods. Check out her website, for amazing recipes and inspiration.

Remember, diet changes are more effective if you start small, let these small changes become habits, and then keep pushing yourself to go further.

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