You may have heard about the latest celebrity getting that “to die for” sculpted body by following the raw food diet. Many times entertainment shows spotlight the best restaurants and top chefs who create amazing dishes containing raw foods. But for the rest of us, learning how to get into the raw food diet can be confusing. Well, it’s time to shed a little light on the subject.
A diet that consists of raw food can either sound intriguing or downright disgusting but this new lifestyle has gained quite a following. As usual, celebrities have paved the way for the general public in terms of ways to lead a healthier life and age better. Before jumping on this bandwagon, it is helpful to know exactly what this type of diet involves and what foods you should or should not eat.
Despite the name, following the raw food diet doesn’t mean you can just eat any food raw. This particular diet deals with unprocessed and uncooked plant foods (sorry, but raw hamburgers usually aren’t on the menu). These foods range from fresh fruits and vegetables to seeds, nuts, grains, beans and seaweed. People who follow the raw food diet believe that by heating/cooking food above the temperature of 116 degrees F, you lose the vital nutrients and enzymes that assist in absorption and digestion of the food. The nutritional value of uncooked foods is often referred to as the food’s “life force,” which is why this lifestyle is also known as the “living foods diet.” At least 75% of the diet must consist of living/raw food.
Although it seems like the complete opposite, the raw food diet has actually been shown to be very beneficial health-wise. Because the raw food diet has little to no saturated fats and trans fats, people who have followed this lifestyle have witnessed such great results like weight loss, better digestion, increased energy, and a more vibrant appearance in their skin. Other positive health benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Health nuts out there will appreciate the fact that the raw food diet is high in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and low in sodium.
When it comes to implementing the raw food diet in your life, there are some guidelines to follow for the best results. Add the following foods to your new diet: dried fruit, seaweed, nuts, grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, purified water, coconut milk, seeds, and unprocessed organic or natural foods. Knowing how to cook the foods properly also plays a large part in this type of lifestyle. The goal is to avoid heating more than ¾ of the food at a temperature that is higher than 116 degrees F. The easiest way to cook foods according to the raw food diet is by juicing fruits and vegetables, blending foods/ingredients, soaking nuts and dry fruit, dehydrating organic and natural food, and sprouting grains, seeds, and beans.
This diet isn’t ideal for everyone, however. Medical professionals advise that women who are pregnant or nursing, children, people with anemia, and those at risk for osteoporosis should avoid this diet because of existing health conditions. Like any other specific diet, it is advisable to include dietary supplements in order to make up for nutritional deficiencies. If you have any questions about the raw food diet, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist.
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