Most people, men and women alike have heard about all of the great benefits of the raw food diet, but many people are still not sure to exactly what it is and how they personally benefit from eating raw foods.
When you are first considering getting into eating a raw food diet, you’re probably at a point in your life where you’re feeling a little sluggish or that something in your body is feeling “off.” The fact is that we’re tired, overweight, burnt out and feeling stressed.
A key problem here is that we aren’t getting the proper nutrition and by you looking at a raw food diet now is your body telling you it is lacking important nutrients that it desperately needs.
A raw food diet doesn’t mean you have to go all out vegetarian either. Many raw food eaters will even go as far as eating raw meats and dairy products but this can be a bit risky so we’re just going to stick to the safer fruits and vegetables here.
Great Benefits Obtained on a Raw Food Diet
When you go grocery shopping you might have all of the right intentions in the world of buying good and healthy vegetables and fruits, thinking you’re getting a decent variety of the right vitamins and minerals your body needs. Then you bring your bounty home and destroy those beneficial nutrients by cooking them to death.
The way you prepare your foods can actually destroy most of those valuable nutritional benefits that you so proudly loaded into your grocery cart and brought home. Vitamins like Vitamin C, important for boosting your immune system and Vitamin B which provides you with energy, are drastically reduced by heating and cooking your food. If you must cook them a quick blanch is recommended for the best nutrient preservation.
Losing Weight on a Raw Food Diet
Raw food diets can help you lose weight too. Fruits and vegetables in general are very filling but even better at satisfying our hunger when eaten in their raw state as opposed to cooking them.
Within reason, you can have an unlimited amount raw fruits and vegetables that are full of fiber and provide you with a positive catalyst for losing weight. And all that fiber and the naturally occurring digestive enzymes make a great colon cleanser which in its own is a strong helping hand in maintaining a good healthy weight.
Gaining Energy with a Raw Food Diet
Another benefit of eating a raw food diet is energy gain. Most raw food lovers will choose a wide variety of foods to implement into their diet. The best thing that you can do is to try to incorporate every color of the rainbow that you can to maximize your exposure to vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients.
Typically, the larger variety of colors you choose, the larger the number of fatigue-fighting nutrients that are available to your body.
Slowing down aging is another perk to eating your food in the raw. Anytime we alter our foods by cooking, even cutting, their natural benefits begin breaking down. You simply can not get any better food than picking it raw off of the plant and immediately eating it. Once picked from the plant the breakdown of nutrients begins. So the fresher picked and the faster eaten once cut up or juiced the better off you are.
One common benefit that people come to realize is all those antioxidants and anti aging rewards you get when consuming raw food. You can actually see these benefits occur in health of your skin. Shortly after you begin your raw food diet you’ll likely start to notice improvements to your skin and you can trust that similar benefits are happening inside your body as well.
Dangers of Pursuing a Raw Food Diet
A true “hard-core” raw food diet isn’t only about vegetarian diet with fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains. It also involves the eating of uncooked meat, fish, unpasteurized milk (and other dairy products), and raw eggs.
With proper food handling, this is usually not a problem for most people, but for people who have medical issues, pregnant or a weak immune system, a raw food diet may do you more harm than it does you good.
If you have any medical issues it’s a great idea to your medical go-to professional and ask them if a 100% raw food diet would help or be bad you. The last thing you want is to pursue the health benefits from a raw food diet and end up making a pre-existing condition worse.
There are also certain things you’ll need to keep in mind when eating raw foods. For example most people don’t know that the eyes and green patches on the skin of a potato hold toxins and need to be discarded. And that all fruits and veggies need to be washed well before consumption.
Tips for Scrubbing Your Raw Food Clean
Fill a 32 oz spray bottle with white distilled vinegar and dissolve ¼ cup of regular table salt to create a chemical and pesticide stripping solution that also does a wonderful job of killing many harmful microbes. Simply wash your veggies and fruits with clean water – spray the vinegar/salt solution on the produce using your hand to do a “soft scrub” – then re-rinse with clean water. This does a better job for less cost than many store bought solutions.
You’re after an improvement to your health and energy level and the last thing you want is some nasty bug or chemical residue to send you down the wrong road. Obtaining fresh ingredients from a reliable source is very important for your produce but even more so if you’re going on a full blown raw food diet.
Raw Food Diet Food Sources
There’s nothing quite like raw food that’s pulled right out of your own organic garden and eaten instantly after being washed. Next in line is organic produce grown by others locally followed by trucked-in organic produce.
Further down your list of choices is raw food that’s been grown by others using pesticides, irradiated killing good and bad microbes, or had chemical preservatives and shellacs added to them so they stay fresh and looking pretty on the grocery store shelf. These need to be cleaned thoroughly before consuming using your vinegar/salt solution above.
There’s no doubt about it that the absolute best way to ensure you’re eating the healthiest raw foods possible is to grow and harvest your own product, raise and butcher your own meat and gather your own milk and dairy items.
The thing is though, not everyone’s able to do that. Most of us are too busy earning a living and need to rely on others to grow and raise the food we eat. In this case the best thing is to find a local farmer’s market where the food is generally raised in the local area.
You just need to be a smart about the food you buy and insist on freshness and quality as much as you possibly can. Fresh is better than frozen but frozen is better than canned, steamed, smoked, pasteurized or processed foods because they all fall out of the raw food arena. So, be sure to buy accordingly and read “Starting Right on a Raw Food Diet Plan” before you begin.