How to Follow the Raw Food DietMay 20, 2022
There are almost as many diets and food philosophies as there are fruits and vegetables! One of the most extreme diets is the raw food diet. Although this diet can seem like a modern invention, the raw food movement originated during the Natural Hygiene movement of the mid19th century. Read on for the pros and cons and tips on how to be successful on the raw food diet—your health might thank you for it!
What Is the Raw Food Diet?
There might be varying definitions around what is considered “raw.” For example, the raw food diet defines raw food as food that is not heated or cooked above 118 degrees F. Those who follow the diet view raw food as nutritionally superior to cooked food. When food is in its raw and natural form, it contains the highest amount of energy and nutrients.
Most raw food dieters are also vegans. The majority of their diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes sprouted through soaking. However, some consider themselves to be on raw food diets that also consume raw meat, fish, and dairy.
Is Eating Raw Better?
It is not very productive to say one diet is “better” than the other—our bodies and lifestyles are very different and need different things to thrive. However, some experts consider the raw food diet to be the most “natural” of the diets. This is because the diet embodies what the earliest humans would have eaten in the wild before developing civilizations with agriculture and processed foods.
Many that practice the raw food diet will talk about its many health enhancement that includes:
- Clearer mind and skin
- More regular bowel movements
- Improved sleep and energy
- Anti-aging benefits
- Weight management
How to “cook” on the Raw Food Diet
So, it might seem misleading to say that you can “cook” on a raw food diet. A lot of what you do in the kitchen might be considered something else entirely. Below are some of the food processing methods you should know before starting your raw food diet and what they do to your food.
1) Soaking/Sprouting: Instead of boiling grains and legumes, raw food dieters will instead soak and sprout them. Although this process might seem “easier,” it does take extra time. Place your grain or legume in a mason jar mixed with filtered water until fully submerged. Let sit for as long as needed for the beans and legumes to sprout a 'tail,' rinse, repeat, and store.
2) Drying: You might want to invest in a few more kitchen items to be as successful as possible on the raw food diet. One of these items is a food dehydrator. With this, you can place any fruit, vegetable, or herb to dry out and add to meals and snacks.
3) Prepping: With the oven and stovetop out of the question, many raw diet meals rely on food preparation. Therefore, it is essential to plan and meal prep your meals ahead of time for a fully nutritional meal that doesn't skimp on nutrients. Some aspects of your meal, such as grains and legumes, can take some time to get ready properly.
Whether you are in for the long haul or want to check in on your weight and health—the raw food diet offers a natural way of eating that delivers on vitamins and nutrients!