Raw Food Diet Benefits
Building the perfect body while enjoying solid health is not easy. Perhaps you’re fully aware of the raw food diet hype. Trainers, celebrities, and normal people swear by it. But is it all milk and honey about this type of diet? What are the pros and cons of a raw food diet? Read on to find it out.
What Is A Raw Food Diet?
A raw food diet is exactly what it sounds like. A diet in which at least 75% of your food intake is raw, uncooked food. Does this sound a bit extreme? Well, know that rawists – aka those who follow the raw food diet principles – have quite a few meal options.
You can eat uncooked fruits and vegetables, raw fish or seafood, seeds, nuts, sprouted beans, and even raw meat or eggs, such as beef tartar.
Now, you’re perhaps wondering why in the world would you swap a delicious, juicy burger for beef tartar or other raw foods.
According to rawists, this type of diet can boost your health and energy levels.
Its proponents also claim that this is the only type of diet you can follow if you want to keep the nutrients unaltered.
While all this sounds blissful, you should consider your options well before embarking on this culinary adventure. According to physicians, raw food diets come with pros and cons. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Raw Food Diet Advantages
It Maintains Nutrients Unaltered
Perhaps the main advantage of a raw food diet is that it maintains the natural enzymes and phytonutrients unaltered. Indeed, these substances are broken down during the cooking process and lose their properties.
By consuming them raw, the enzymes can be absorbed by the body, helping digestion and increasing health at a cellular level.
It Has A Cooling Effect On The Body
Raw foods have a cooling effect on the body and are a great choice for the warm season. They are also an excellent choice for those living in warm climates, such as the southern states or Hawaii.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, raw foods can also reduce inflammation; that’s why raw diets are great if you struggle with any inflammatory disease.
It Reduces Inflammation
Because raw foods are richer in nutrients and help cool the body, they are a great choice for people dealing with autoimmune inflammatory diseases or other types of inflammations.
However, this type of diet is less than ideal for those who are always cold, as raw foods won’t help warm up your body.
It Helps Fight Enzyme Deficit
If you have an enzyme deficit, a raw food diet could help replace them. This is because enzymes are not destroyed by a cooking process. Therefore you can take advantage of all their benefits.
Indeed, if your dietician or doctor has recommended you to supplement your diet with enzyme supplements to improve your nutritional profile, you could simply increase your intake of raw foods to achieve the same effect.
Enzymes usually help your body break down nutrients faster, improving absorption and your overall health.
It Lowers The Risk Of Developing Diabetes And Heart Disease
Because raw food diets are mostly vegan or vegetarian, it is very difficult to overeat. This comes with important consequences.
On the one hand, you won’t gain any weight, and it’s very likely that you’ll even lose some. A nice start for anyone planning to lose some weight.
On the other hand, raw food diets contain limited amounts of saturated fats, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Due to the low sugar and salt intake, you’ll lower your risk of diabetes or heart disease, while your skin will look shinier.
Raw Food Diet Disadvantages
It Is Very Hard To Sustain
A raw food diet is very hard to sustain for two reasons. First, it changes all your eating habits. You can forget about juicy burgers, steaks, and a wealth of other delicious foods. Second, although a raw food diet is more rich in nutrients than a cooked diet, it still makes it more challenging for you to meet your nutritional needs.
Obviously, how hard it will be to stick to it depends on whether you follow it 100 percent; but if you do, you might have to take various supplements to balance your nutritional needs.
In broad lines, raw diets are low in iron, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, proteins, and vitamin B12.
Some Foods Are Absorbed Better After Being Cooked
Not only raw foods are poor in some vitamins and nutrients; some foods are simply absorbed better when cooked.
This is the case of tomatoes, for example. Indeed, one compound in tomatoes is a strong antioxidant that is absorbed faster when cooked. Things are similar to other foods, including spinach, onions, garlic, and kale.
All these foods are more nutritionally available when cooked because cooking releases their phytonutrients that wouldn’t be digested otherwise.
While many people believe that cooked foods, and especially meats, contain acrylamide and can cause inflammation or cancer, this is only true if the food is overcooked. Eating lightly steamed or sautéed meat actually helps meet your protein needs.
The Best Diet Is A Balanced Raw-Cooked Food Diet
According to experts, the best diets are those balanced between raw and cooked foods. Sure, eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables is great. However, your diet should also include roasted vegetables alongside cooked eggs and meat.
After all, only a balanced diet can provide you with all the enzymes and nutrients your body needs.
Cooking Can Make Food Safer
Last but not least, remember that cooking can make food safer. Although you can eat raw fish, meat, or eggs, chances are they thrive with bacteria.
Some of these bacteria can be harmful, causing an array of diseases. Dangerous pathogens, including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella are only a few common types of microorganisms that can produce food poisoning while consuming raw foods.
Eggs and seafood are perhaps the riskier, and the best way to ensure that what you eat is safe for consumption is by cooking the food.
Wrapping It All Up
A raw food diet could be a great choice if you want to lose some weight quickly. In the long run, though, you should opt for a balanced diet between raw and cooked foods. In the end, it’s up to you, but remember that raw food doesn’t necessarily mean healthier.