By Chef K.T. Murphy
There’s a certain trendiness associated with an raw food diet. It’s something mysterious and ultra-psychedelic sounding. As the newest diet craze enters an extremely holistic realm, the validity of its benefits is up for debate.
What is A Raw Food Diet?
A raw food diet, contrary to the initial shock, does not constitute consuming raw meats. Rather, a typical meal consists of fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts. If the food must be cooked, you cannot exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s been said that eating raw foods promotes cleansing of the body. You will feel energetic and benefit from the many nutrients available from raw foods. Despite the smoke and mirrors, are there legitimate advantages of choosing this lifestyle? Or, is all just a hoax in this big world of health kicks?
Although research has shown that consuming foods in their raw state has its fair share of benefits, you may be missing out on essential vitamins. Zinc, iron, B12, and vitamin D. Cooking releases certain antioxidants that break down into essential vitamins. Unfortunately, when you choose not to cook your food, you lose out on those vitamins.
Raw food diets, as mentioned, are detox diets. With any detox, there comes certain physical symptoms that are uncomfortable. Consider this- your body is accustomed to eating a wealth of various foods that provide different nutrients.
When you eliminate those foods and limit your body to eating something new, you’ll likely endure changes. Headaches, chills, irritability, and even hunger are all common side effects.
When you think about a detox, what is the most common means of removing toxins from your body? Certainly, your gastrointestinal system is one of the primary means of release. When considering a raw food diet, understand that diarrhea and excessive gas may occur. Another way your body releases toxins is through the skin.
With a raw food diet, you may experience frequent breakouts or redness due to your previous impurities being released through your pores. Finally, many foods when cooked, are free from bacteria that causes serious illnesses. Salmonella and Campylobacter are two of the most common, often occurring in under cooked meat or raw eggs.
Now that we’ve gotten the scary stuff out of the way, let’s dig into the benefits! Sure, eating any diet comes with its own fair share of implications. However, choosing a raw diet does have its host of health benefits!
Since a raw food diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables, you will benefit from their many nutrients. Fruits and vegetables may help reduce your chances of high blood pressure, stroke, and even cancer.
Although cooking does eliminate certain vitamins, raw food when left untouched, contains Vitamin C. Through this vitamin, you will build your immune system with the hopes of fighting off illness.
Many of these include strawberries, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, and oranges. Another viable benefit is weight loss. Your calorie intake will be low while increasing fiber. On this diet, you’ll avoid packaged and processed foods that are high in sodium and saturated fats. These are key to avoid when trying to manage weight loss.
Sure, weight loss and the intake of more fruits and vegetables are awesome perks. However, the risk of consuming bacteria infested foods in their raw state is weighty. Health expert Dr. William Blahd in conjunction with writer Kara Robinson stated, “the diet is a nutritionally inadequate and highly restrictive plan that will be hard to stay on for the long-term.
The risk of food poisoning from eating raw or under cooked foods outweighs the benefits of this plan. In general, cooking makes your food daily digestible and safer.” The decision to choose a raw diet should be considered with your doctor. Analyze your goals, lifestyle, and medical conditions prior to making the commitment. Still should wash your veggies with baking soda or vinegar mixtures in the sink. The avg produce has had 20 people touching it.
All the best