raw-food-diet

The Pros and Cons of Raw Food Diet

A raw food diet means that 75% of your diet is only raw food. It mainly consists of uncooked fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and sprouted beans.

When you decide to follow a 100% raw diet, you should not heat the food at about 116 degrees Fahrenheit. While on a raw diet you can attain baked foods like crackers and bread that are made in a dehydrator.

According to the Living and Raw Food website, those who follow the Raw Food Diet are known as rawists. Rawists believe that raw diet eating plan enhances their energy and boosts their health.

Furthermore, proponents of the diet also say that the greatest part of a raw food diet is that the nutrients, and particularly the enzymes, are not ruined in the process of cooking and are therefore available to be absorbed and used by their body.

However, before embarking on a raw diet, you should know that there are opponents of the raw food diet and some shortcomings you need to consider. Such a diet, for example, is usually a vegan diet, because it lacks the protein seen in a diet that embraces poultry, fish and meat.

In some cases, you can get your protein by eating raw fish, as long as you make sure the fish comes from a safe source, or else you risk a chance of ingesting pathogenic bacteria.

The Pros and Cons of Consuming a Raw Food Diet

Pros

  • The raw food diet retains the undamaged phytonutrients and natural enzymes that can be absorbed by the body. Phytonutrients and natural enzymes are broken down in the cooking process. Eating the untainted enzymes helps digestion, and the body can begin to absorb other nutrients when the enzymes are left untouched. This can increase the wellness and health of the body cells.
  • Raw foods have a cooling effect on the body. This is why raw food diets are more popular in places where the climate is warm, such as Hawaii and the southern states. According to traditional Chinese medicine, raw foods reduce inflammation and cool the body. People dealing with inflammatory conditions may do better with a raw food diet, while those who have problems with cold all the time would not thrive on a diet because everything they eat is cold.
  • People dealing with inflammatory conditions may do better with a raw food diet, while those who have problems with cold all the time would not thrive on a diet because everything they eat is cold.
  • People who are deficient in enzymes can replace them by eating raw foods because the raw foods do not have their enzymes destroyed. Some experts recommend supplementing the diet with enzyme supplements so as to improve their nutritional profile if one eats a cooked diet. However, this can also be achieved by adding more raw food to one’s diet. Some of these enzymes include phytase; lipase, amylase, alpha-galactosidase, and invertase—all of which can help break down the food easier so that the nutrients can be absorbed.

Cons

  • While a raw food diet is a good thing, in theory, Ayurvedic teachings and Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recommend it. According to their health programs, cooked foods are better for you because they are already partially broken down and so they are more easily digested. They argue that not all of the phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables are destroyed by cooking and that some vegetables are absorbed better after they have been cooked.
  • As mentioned, some foods are absorbed better by the body after they have been heated up. For example tomatoes. The compound in tomatoes is a potent antioxidant that is absorbed better when the tomatoes are cooked. Other vegetables, including kale, spinach, garlic, and onions are more nutritionally available after they have been cooked because the cooking tends to release vital phytonutrients that will not be digested if the food is taken in raw. The overcooked foods, especially meats contain acrylamide along with other chemicals that can lead to inflammation and cause cancer. To avoid this problem, foods should always be steamed lightly or sautéed in oil so that the foods can release all of the phytonutrients and start digestion.
  • The best diet is the one that is balanced regarding eating some foods raw and some foods cooked. According to experts, while eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables is valuable, the diet should also have foods that are lightly cooked, including cooked fruits, roasted vegetables, eggs, and meats. This can provide your body with the enzymes you need to absorb food, cooked food is much easier to digest than raw food.

Final Thought

There is no perfect diet out there, including the raw food diet. Raw foods might be good for those people who need the enzymes to digest their food, but it may also be bad for people who need the partial digestion of lightly cooked foods. Rather than venture into extreme eating of a raw diet, it is recommended by many holistic practitioners that a balance should be hit between raw and cooked foods so that the system of digestion is taken care of in the healthiest way possible.

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