Raw food diets are diets comprised of foods that are raw. That is to say, raw foods are foods that are not processed, not cooked, and typically organic in nature. A raw food diet can refer to various types of strictness. Some people choose to only follow an occasional raw diet, in conjunction with an event, or for use as a detox or annual raw food fast. Other people may use occasional raw food as a supplement to their otherwise cooked meals, such as sticking to raw food for their breakfast or lunch. More strict people may follow a stricter pure raw food diet, where their food is comprised solely of raw foods. However, most raw food diet followers report that they eat about 75 to 85 percent raw food, with the rest of their diet being healthy but cooked or processed foods.
Contrary to popular belief, someone following a raw food diet is not stuck with eating only fruits and vegetables. There are many foods that allowed to be eaten when someone is following a raw food diet. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, sprouts, wheat, nuts, roots, honey, and certain natural oils, butters, milks, and much more can all be eaten on a raw food diet. Even sweet items like raw chocolate or cacao can be eaten on a raw food diet, which most people wouldn’t expect!
There are many benefits to following a raw food diet. You will have more energy when you eat raw foods on a raw food diet. A breakfast of fresh fruit and vegetables will not only be fresher and lighter, it will give you a better energy boost than a pancake doused in syrup. Your skin may also appear healthier, and some have even reported a reduction in wrinkles, acne, and under eye circles after being on a raw food diet. Many people experience weight loss when on a raw food diet, because of the lower calorie nature of many raw foods. Without the addition of many processed oils, fats, and other unnatural ingredients, meals made from raw foods are much healthier, lower in fat, and lower in calories.
Some people may think that raw food diets are made up of completely cold foods, and worry that they won’t get to eat a warm meal! However, food eaten on a raw food diet may be warmed up as long as it is below the temperature that cooks the food and destroys enzymes. Most raw food diet followers and raw foodists agree that this temperature is about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many books on the market today with recipes for raw food diets, including meals that can be prepared in just minutes. There are even gourmet recipes that follow raw food diet instructions, and one hundred percent raw food and vegan restaurants. Someone following a raw food diet will not be limited to soups, smoothies, and plain vegetables and fruits—there are so many options out there, the possibilities for meals are near limitless!Written by Elise Goodlife