With raw food restaurants and cafes opening across the UK and other western countries, this diet is clearly no passing fad. If you’re struggling with low energy levels, uncomfortable digestive issues or poor general health, a raw food diet could be just what you need to make you look and feel healthier.
What Is a Raw Food Diet?
There’s no real hidden meaning or tricks with this diet. Due to the exclusion of cooked foods, it’s a diet that’s naturally high in fruit and vegetables, along with grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, some unpasteurized dairy and raw meat and fish can be included – or, you could use this opportunity to cut it out altogether.
Food can be enjoyed cold, fresh from the fridge, or at room temperature – right up to 48ºC, which is the temperature at which heat starts altering the nutritional content of the food. The only rule is that nothing can be cooked. Instead, processes such as dehydrating, blending and juicing can be used to transform your ingredients into tasty, fulfilling meals. Simple!
Why Follow a Raw Food Diet?
The main reasons for adopting a raw food diet are down to enzymes and nutrients.
- Our bodies need enzymes for everything. While we naturally produce certain enzymes, we rely on our food for others. When we cook food, some enzymes are destroyed by the heat, forcing us to rely on our own supply. This uses more energy and gives us less benefit from the food we eat.
- We also use food to absorb useful nutrients. However, it’s proven that cooking some foods either dramatically reduces or in some cases completely eradicates the beneficial nutrients within. For example, cooking tomatoes for just two minutes reduces the vitamin C content by 10%.
Compared to a regular western diet, a raw food diet is a kind of detox, so over the first few days, you may feel withdrawal symptoms like headaches and cravings from the exclusion of your ‘normal foods’, such as cooked meats and processed or refined foods. However, you will quickly feel the benefits.
The Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
If you decide to follow a raw food diet, the benefits to your health and well-being can be felt after a short period of time. This includes,
- Improved energy levels and ability to focus, as your body absorbs enzymes and nutrients the natural way, for maximum benefit.
- Reduced risk of serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, thanks to a diet lower in saturated fats and sodium.
- Weight loss and associated benefits – this diet is recognised to reduce the risk of diabetes, promoting healthier blood pressure and sugar levels, and a more active lifestyle.
- Clearer skin, stronger hair and healthier nails.
In addition to these health benefits, adopting a raw food diet can also change the way you feel about food, opening your eyes to a wider range of ingredients and processes.
While some people may think a raw food diet is restrictive, Markus Rothkranz and chef, Cara Brotman, have teamed up to publish Love on a Plate: The Gourmet UnCookbook to demonstrate how you can maintain an exciting and delicious raw food diet, without sacrificing on the taste or health benefits of your meals. Why not buy your copy and get started, today.