While being on the search for the next healthier option I came across something I’ve heard of before but wasn’t really ready to try: going raw, meaning changing my diet to consist of at least 80 percent raw foods — meaning fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, roots and anything that is cooked at temperatures below 115 degrees.
This concept is definitely nothing new but it has been on a steady incline, being more and more “mainstream.” There is a plethora of resources, blogs and websites designed to provide recipes, resources and information about a raw diet.
Raw vs. Cooked
Medical literature on a raw-food diet is scarce. However, the few studies that have been done have shown that a raw diet helps reduce the risk of multiple types of cancer. Research has also made people aware that cooking foods lowers their nutritional value, stripping them of many of the vitamins and minerals they possess. Heating food above 118 degrees causes the chemical changes that create acidic toxins, including the carcinogens, mutagens and free radicals associated with diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
It has been found that raw diets are full of nutrients, rich in fiber and low in fats and sugars. But medical professionals warn that raw foodists need to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin B12, calcium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, most of which are found naturally in animal products. Studies done on people who followed a raw diet showed they had a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can be harmful.
The studies that have been done about a raw diet have shown there are health benefits associated with eating more raw foods such as fruits and vegetables. Some of these were reducing the risk of oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal and gastric cancers, s well as improving or reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity-related health issues.
Since the studies on the benefits of a raw diet are still scarce in the medical world, I took it to the blogs. Searching through the web you find a multitude of blogs describing the benefits and changes, the before and after of people going raw. Many bloggers going raw have described benefits such as:
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Clearer and healthier skin
- Reduces health risks
- Weight loss
Should You Go Raw?
Many people deem the raw diet as extreme or unhealthy. There are concerns about vitamin and nutrient deficiencies and detoxification side effects. However, if one is truly interested in going raw, there are websites that outline a healthy way to ease into this diet. Studies show great health improvements by going raw for just 30 days.
While searching for the next healthy option and improving my overall health, I’ve found that doing things in moderation is what has yielded amazing results. Going completely raw is, I admit, quite difficult. But there is something that just made sense to me about eating higher quantities of raw foods.
So just by consuming raw foods, meaning fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds in higher quantities than normal, it’s already shown amazing health benefits for me, including clearer skin, more energy and better sleep! Eating a bigger portion of veggies a day sounds a lot better than it used to when I was a kid.
Don’t be scared to push yourself and try new things.
Stay healthy, Devils!
Resources: Educate Yourself About Going Raw