What is a raw food diet?
A fully raw diet consists mainly of fresh, whole, unrefined, living, plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, all consumed without cooking or steaming. If you can’t force yourself to go entirely raw, there’s no need to panic. Consuming a diet of 70% - 80% raw foods is still going to benefit your body and lead to a dramatic shift in how you feel, inside and out. Start out easy and experiment with substituting some of your favorite cooked meals for a raw alternative.
The possibility to create delicious meals using all raw ingredients is easier than it sounds and tastier than you ever imagined. Unsure where to start? Check out our delicious assortment of raw recipes that will convert you into a raw food lover in no time.
What are the benefits of a raw food diet?
There is overwhelming evidence to support the benefits of a raw food diet, but a raw food diet can do more than just make you feel good – it has healing properties too!
Just some of the benefits of a raw food diet are:
- Increased energy
- Better digestion
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of diabetes and cancer
- A great sense of wellbeing
- Improved skin appearance
- Weight loss
The Living Light Institute in Southern California point out that “organically grown raw and living foods provide high-quality nutrition while naturally supporting both proper digestion and a well-functioning immune system. Eating these life-giving foods helps to alkalize the body, a key factor in building excellent health. When the body is in an alkaline state, it is better able both to absorb nutrients and to expel toxins more efficiently. The SAD (Standard American Diet) of meat, bread, dairy products, processed/cooked foods, caffeine, and alcohol creates an acidic state in the body, which contributes to a variety of health problems.”
But what about our pre-existing health conditions? Can a raw food diet help those of us suffering from the likes of fibromyalgia and arthritis? Yes, it can!
A 2001 study by Donaldson, Speight and Loomis titled “Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: An observational study” was published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal which confirmed that many fibromyalgia sufferers could be helped by a mostly raw vegetarian diet.
To find evidence of the benefits of a raw food diet for arthritis sufferers, you need go no further than Google! Type in “raw food arthritis” and your search engine will return hundreds of pages of testimonials from arthritis sufferers’ raving about the difference a raw food diet has made to their lives. Don’t be surprised to see quotes like "I have the look of someone who has arthritis, because my fingers are twisted a little bit, I've bumps and swelling, but the pain, the incapacity is gone." or “I still have some degree of discomfort, but if I would've done this a couple years back, I'd be having some seriously painful consequences from so much high impact exercise. Instead I'm experiencing LESS pain”.
Unfortunately, to date there are few clinical tests and studies on raw food and arthritis but one possible explanation for why the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may vanish after someone starts a raw food diet is because it can eliminate "unfriendly" intestinal bacteria. The abundance of anti-inflammatory components and protective anti-oxidants — like vitamins A, C and E — found in uncooked vegetables and fruits are also likely contributors to recovery.
All in all, a well-balanced, vegan, organ raw food diet can be a gateway not only to a healthy, happier lifestyle – but also to a healthier, happier future.