Whatever your compulsions were, switching to a raw food diet may have been a challenging task. When I first decided to make this switchover, I never even understood what a raw diet meant or its benefits. I took this major decision, simply because somewhere deep down I felt that this got to be a healthier food option than my usual.
To get more enlightened about the subject of raw food diet and to find the true meaning of raw diet I started to do intensive online reading and frankly, I came across several sites which are not only informative but were also encouraging for any newbie who is groping for more knowledge about the subject.
One such site defines raw food as any unprocessed or uncooked foods of plant origin like fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. I also understood from this site that foods cooked above 116 degrees F actually damages the essential enzymes and in short, kills the real ‘food value’.
So What Exactly is a Raw Food Diet?
One of the questions that kept on bothering me when I started with raw foods is whether I would have to survive only on ‘uncooked and unprocessed’ foods. Interestingly, a raw food diet is when only 75% of your diet consists of living or raw foods.
Living foods are different from raw food in the sense that in living foods, the enzymes are alive. A good example of living food is a fresh apple. Nuts or beans that are yet to be sprouted have their enzymes in a dormant state. Once they begin to sprout, they become living foods.
Some of the foods that can be included in a raw food diet are: nuts and beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, dried fruits, coconut milk and unprocessed organic fruits and vegetables.
Though technically they are raw food, some food preparation techniques are allowed in a raw diet. These include soaking, blending, juicing, sprouting and dehydrating.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Raw Food Diet
A raw diet has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages in the form of side effects which you should be aware of, before you make this important lifestyle decision.
While you can expect an increased level of energy, enhanced appearance of your skin, improved digestion, and weight loss and with long term use, reduced chances of developing heart ailments, a raw food diet could also result in the following side effects and may carry certain disadvantages as follows: