What is a raw food diet?
The raw diet, as its name implies, is based on consuming unprocessed, preferably organic, whole plant-based foods, at least 75 per cent of which should be uncooked. Raw and living foods are believed to contain essential food enzymes. It consists of raw nuts, fruits, and various varieties of beans.
People who follow the raw diet use particular techniques to prepare foods. These include sprouting seeds, grains and beans; soaking nuts and dried fruits; and juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is allowed is via a dehydrator. This piece of equipment blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116°F. Other techniques needed to prepare raw food are blending, juicing and chopping.
Tips on what you will need to go raw
1. Meal plans. Following a raw food diet means that you have to carefully plan your meals to make sure you don't fall short of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In some instances it might be appropriate to consider taking dietary supplements.
2. Equipment. You'll need to invest in some appliances so that you are able to prepare the food.
o A durable juice extractor for your fruits and vegetableso A blender or a wooden spoon and sieve to crush and blend ingredientso A food processor or chopper to save time and efforto Large containers to soak and sprout grains, seeds and beanso Glass jars or Tupperware for storing sprouts
Proponents of the raw diet believe that enzymes are the life force of a food and that every food contains its own perfect mix. These enzymes help us digest foods completely, without relying on our body to produce its own cocktail of digestive enzymes.
It is also thought that the cooking process destroys vitamins and minerals and that cooked foods not only take longer to digest, but they also allow partially digested fats, proteins and carbohydrates to clog up our gut and arteries.
Followers of a raw diet cite numerous health benefits, including increased energy levels, improved appearance of skin, improved digestion, and weight loss. Clearly a raw food diet has many benefits.