Nowadays, many people lead a vegan lifestyle. Moreover, some of them eat only raw food. Is this normal or is it just a useless trendy trend? Some researchers believe that raw food diet can help you to achieve better health and prevent heart diseases and cancer. What’s more, the raw food diet helps to save the enzymes in uncooked or “live food”, because cooking process destroys it.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that raw diet can lead people to elevated risk factors for heart disease. Researchers conducted a study that lasted two years and found that only 14% of people had elevated LDL cholesterol levels and none had high triglycerides.
However, 38% of people had vitamin B12 deficiency, and 51 % of people had elevated homocysteine levels. You should be aware that low levels of vitamin B12 and elevated homocysteine levels are considered independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
What’s more, another study published in Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism have shown that people who followed the raw food diet had a lower body mass index. Moreover, 30 % of women under 45 years of age had partial to complete amenorrhea (the absence of menstrual periods).
What are the benefits of a raw diet food? Sticking to this diet, you can get benefits such as: increased energy, clearer skin, weight loss, reduced risk of diseases. This diet is lower in calories, sodium, sugar, trans fat, and saturated fat than the standard American diet. The raw food diet is higher in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants. The fiber gives you a sense of satiety and protects from constipation.
What can you eat on a raw food diet? 70 percent of your diet should consist of raw foods. Your main products on a raw food diet are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains and beans. You can heat food if the temperature does not exceed 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people who stick to a raw diet are vegan, and some eat raw animal products like raw milk, cheese made from raw milk, or raw fish and meat.
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What’s more, there is a list of foods that you should avoid while sticking to this diet, such as buckwheat greens, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, rhubarb leaves, taro, cassava and cassava flour, and parsnips.
What equipment you need to prepare raw food?
- Blender – to make smoothies, soup, nut milks
- Thermometer – to ensure during heating that food stays below 118 F
- Dehydrator – a piece of equipment that can blow warm air through food to add some dryness, chewiness, or crispness to food
- Mini-blender – for chopping or grinding small amounts of food
- Food processor
- Spiral Slicer – cuts vegetables into spiral shapes
- Large containers or trays to soak and sprout seeds, grains, and beans
- Mason jars or sprouters
Is a raw food diet safe or not? As we said earlier, some people may face the problem of nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. This diet is also associated with low bone mass. Some raw foods are high in calories, fat, and sugar.
What’s more, the raw food diet is not recommended for pregnant women, children, older adults, people with weak immune systems, and people with medical conditions. People suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetes should be careful with this diet, because overconsumption of juice may worsen the condition.
As you can see, the raw food diet has both pluses and minuses. So, to prevent some bad conditions, you should consult your doctor before trying this diet. People who want to eat more raw plant foods, but do not want to stick to this diet should start slow by combining one or more servings of raw vegetables into your meals. So you will find your food balance and be able to combine raw foods with cooked meals.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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