Raw Food Diet: Good or Bad?

What is a raw food diet? Think of uncooked, unprocessed, mostly organic foods. Some fans of raw food diets believe cooking makes food toxic. Heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes, which is bad because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease.

There are four main types of raw foodism:

• Raw vegetarians consume plant foods, eggs and dairy products; most foods consumed are raw
• Raw vegans only consume plant foods and no animal products consumed at all; most foods consumed are raw
• Raw omnivores consume both raw plant foods and animal products
• Raw carnivores only consume raw meat products

And some raw vegans divided themselves into three categories:

• Fruitarian: consumes mostly fruits
• Juicearian: consumes mostly fresh fruit and vegetable juices
• Sproutarian: consumes mostly sprouts

According to raw foodists, if you consume mainly uncooked foods you will achieve significant desirable weight loss. They also believe that a raw food diet enhances your body's ability to prevent and fight diseases, especially chronic diseases. Raw foodism says that raw and living foods contain essential food enzymes that are destroyed if the food is heated to above 116 degree Fahrenheit (47 degree Celsius).

Foods are prepared in a special way. Nuts are soaked, some fruits are dried. Many fruits and vegetables are juiced. The only heating allowed is with a dehydrator (blowing hot air through the food, never above 116 Fahrenheit). Raw foodists may also blend and chop up their foods.

The following health benefits are highlighted by followers of a raw food diet:

• You will have more energy
• Your skin will have a much better appearance
• Your digestion will improve
• You will lose weight
• Your risk of developing heart and cardiovascular diseases will significantly drop

Because some uncooked and unpasteurized foods are linked to food-borne illness, you’ll need to wash your food thoroughly and be extra careful with risky foods like sprouts, raspberries, unpasteurized juices, green onions, and lettuce.

Due to the risk of food poisoning, a raw foods diet isn't recommended for pregnant women, young children, seniors, people with weak immune systems, and those with chronic medical conditions like kidney disease.

All of these diets are extremely cleansing and fantastic for short-term detoxification. However, it is difficult to sustain and can be harmful to health in the long term, causing nutritional deficiencies.

Lastly, it is important to understand that foods don’t heal us -- the body does all the healing. Foods, cooked or raw, simply supply the materials the body uses in its various functions.

photo: toimg.net

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