The Raw Food Diet
The Raw Food Diet, as gross as it may sound, is actually not that bad! The Raw Food Diet is based on consuming unprocessed, preferably organic, whole plant-based foods, at least 75 per cent of which should be uncooked.
- fresh fruits (dehydrated fruits are acceptable)
- dried fruits
- freshly made fruit and vegetable juices
- Other organic or natural foods which have not been processed or cooked.
- Milk from a young coconut
The Raw Food Diet is an excellent diet since all of the raw foods have the essential enzymes that cooked food doesn’t. Food that is cooked anywhere above 116°F loses most of its enzymes, therefore the nutritional value is out the door. Followers of this diet eat raw foods either by soaking nuts, blending juices, and cooking with a dehydrator which blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116F.
Benefits of the Raw Food Diet
- Increased energy
- Improved skin appearance
- Better digestion
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease
Cooking Techniques for the Raw Food Diet
Specific cooking techniques make foods more digestible and add variety to the diet, including:
- Sprouting seeds, grains, and beans
- Juicing fruit and vegetables
- Soaking nuts and dried fruit
- Dehydrating food
Equipment to be Used for the Raw Food Diet
- A dehydrator, a piece of equipment that blows air through food at a temperature of less than 116 degrees F.
- A good-quality juice extractor for juicing fruit and vegetables
- A blender, food processor, or chopper to save time
- Large glass containers to soak and sprout seeds, grains, and beans
- Mason jars for storing sprouts and other food
Three Raw Food Diet Variations
1. Raw veganism: Includes unprocessed whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, legumes, dried fruits, and seaweed. These meals are washed down with freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, purified water, and coconut milk.
2. Raw Vegetarianism: Similar to the vegan-inspired diet except followers also consume dairy and eggs.
3. Raw Animal Food Diet (also known to as the raw meat diet): Dieters eat raw, unprocessed, aged, or fermenting meats, organ-meats, eggs, dairy, and some fruits and vegetables. This diet excludes domesticated foods or foods that entered the average North American diet in the past three thousand years. Thus, grains, beans, legumes, sweet fruit juices, overly sweet fruits, and all processed and refined oils are forbidden. Small amounts of cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil are allowed.
Most raw foodists follow a version of the vegetarian or vegan raw diet while a minority subscribe to the raw animal food diet.