If you’ve ever heard of a raw food diet, you may have dismissed it as another fad. But this diet isn’t a fad or a scam. It’s more like a lifestyle change, with the purpose of providing the body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong. (1)
What Is a Raw Food Diet?
Eating a raw food diet means making a conscious effort to consume more raw foods. Raw foods aren’t just found in produce. In fact, a raw food diet can include fruits, vegetables, fish, sea vegetables, fermented foods, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, and (unfertilized) eggs.
You see, foods are considered “raw” as long as they are not pasteurized or homogenized. Further, they must be produced without synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or chemical food additives. So eating a raw food diet means avoiding packaged and processed foods.
What Are the Benefits of a Raw Food Diet?
Thanks to the increased intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, there are plenty of health benefits associated with eating raw foods. Studies have shown that a raw food diet can help: (2)
- Lower inflammation
- Improve digestion
- Improve heart health
- Prevent cancer
- Prevent and treat constipation
- Energize the body
- Keep skin clear
- Help maintain a healthy body weight
- Prevent nutrient deficiencies
Who Can Benefit From a Raw Food Diet?
Anyone and everyone can potentially benefit from eating a raw food diet. Eating more raw foods each day helps ensure that the body gets the nutrients it needs to fight illness and disease. Raw foods reduce acidity and alkalize the body to reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions. They are also more easily digested by the body than processed foods.
Whether your goal is a stronger immune system, treating constipation naturally, losing weight, or a lower risk of disease, raw foods can help. Those who may benefit the most from a raw food diet may include people who are suffering from:
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Gallstones or gallbladder disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Food allergies
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches and pains
- Hormonal imbalance
- Weight gain/obesity
Please note! Eating raw foods isn’t the same thing as being a vegan or a vegetarian. Raw foods may still include ethically sourced animal products, such as raw dairy products and raw egg yolks (unfertilized), as long as these foods are also organic and unprocessed.
The main goal of following this diet is to increase your intake of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods, and decrease your intake of packaged, processed foods full of chemicals and additives. Raw foods include:
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Coconut kefir
- Raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes
- Raw yogurt
- Extra virgin coconut or olive oil
- Cultured vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi