Adding more raw foods into your diet will have a positive effect on your health. The raw food diet typically includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These foods can be eaten alone in a mono meal or combined to produce gourmet dishes that mimic traditional meals using much healthier raw ingredients.
There are many theories behind why the raw food diet is so health promoting. Some of the more popular theories include: when foods are not heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit the enzymes remain active; the increased oxygen in raw foods; and the increased water content of the raw foods.
People on a raw food diet often report feeling more energetic and healthier. I feel the number one reason for this is that they are eliminating all the processed foods and junk foods from their diet and are now being nourished by whole foods only.
Besides the increased energy levels some of the other benefits of adding more raw foods into your diet include: increased alkalinity, being more hydrated, weight loss and improved overall health.
If you are generally healthy I don’t think it is necessary to eat a 100% raw food diet. It is always important that you are sticking with whole foods and trying to incorporate more raw foods whenever possible. Some of the easy ways to eat more raw foods include making smoothies, juices, salads and having fruits and vegetables as snacks in between meals.
If you live in a big city there is a good chance there is at least one raw food restaurant you can eat out at. The best ways to locate these restaurants are by doing a Google search or by using the website www.happycow.net to search for vegan, vegetarian or raw food restaurants.
Following a rigid diet such as eating a good percentage of your diet raw can be socially isolating. For this reason, it is important to find like minded people in your community to socialize and share ideas with. If you have enough people into raw foods in your area you might even be able to get a regular potluck going. So do a local search for meetup groups or Facebook groups in your area who support a raw food diet. In my hometown of Windsor, Ontario we have a Facebook group called Healthy Windsor that discusses the raw food diet and other healthy living topics. People are able to share upcoming events, recipes and other related information. If no group exists in your community you can start one on your own.
Many people get obsessed with the percentage of raw foods they are eating but it is always important to remember that food is only one aspect of reaching your overall optimum health. Other pillars include regular exercise, proper sleep, socializing/relationships, mental/emotional factors etc.
My personal diet has fluctuated greatly over the past few years. Throughout most of my life I have eaten a standard Canadian diet, always trying to make healthy choices but looking back now it wasn’t much better than the average diet. Two and a half years ago I went vegetarian, eating mostly vegan and always trying to incorporate many raw foods in my routine. My diet is ever evolving. I’ve had days where I’ve been 100% raw and others where I’m down to about 30% so it really fluctuates. My philosophy has always been to eat the best I can in any given situation and that is what I continue to do today.
It’s always important to experiment with your diet and see what works best with your individual genetic makeup.
When making food choices, seriously think about the foods you’re putting into your body and remember that it’s equally important to leave the junk food out of your diet. Raw foods are an important component of a healthy diet.
Share in the comments your favourite foods to eat raw.
To your health!