Raw Food

Nutritionists, alternative health care practitioners, and vegans strongly promote a diet rich in whole food. Another, more extreme camp is in favor of something radical: a raw food diet. Proponents argue that if food is raw, it is healthier for you in a multitude of ways.

Reasons for Raw Food

The primary reason to go raw has to do with health. Advocates believe they can attribute recovery from illness — even life-threatening ones — to their new way of eating. Another reason to choose this eating plan would be to lose weight. Thirdly, many individuals find the raw food diet easy because they are already vegan. Much of the food they eat doesn’t have to be cooked anyway. Finally, environmental concerns have prompted this radical approach to meal time since factories processing food emit toxins and create tons of packaging yearly. Reliance on meat is particularly worrying since cattle are responsible for a significant amount of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Raw vs. Cooked

An age-old method of treating food has turned into a trendy style of presentation in recent years: dehydration. Native people have been drying meat for centuries; homesteaders have been doing the same thing with produce and meat from the farm; and now it’s popular to buy goodies made from raw foods which have been turned into dried biscuits. These do not contain eggs or flour.

Many cooked foods contain refined flour and sugar whether you buy them ready-made or make them from scratch. You can adapt recipes to suit your beliefs and needs but the main problem with cooking foods is that they lose many nutrients this way. Vegetables and fruits are of particular concern.

Nutritional Value

Children are taught to eat their apple with the peel intact, like it or not. Some extremely health conscious parents have trained their kids to eat orange peel too. They say (and rightly so) that many nutrients are lost when people peel their fruits and vegetables.

Problem with Peel

The one proviso with this tactic is that food must be organically grown. If it is grown in the popular, commercial manner (using pesticides) toxins have soaked into the skin. While these chemicals get past the skin into your fruit and veg too, there is more of it concentrated in the skin. Washing is not enough. This is probably why many parents encourage their children to peel vegetables and fruits before eating them. A generation of consumers has lost the knack for chewing produce in its skin.

Is Raw Food also Vegan?

It’s not necessarily the case that raw food has to be free of meat or dairy products. Drying (and smoking), mentioned above, is a suitable method of preserving food without cooking it. This goes for meat and fish plus fruits and vegetables. Unpasteurized dairy is also raw, so yogurt created from this type of milk is suitable for people on a raw food diet. Many consumers choose to become vegans while others only go partially raw, introducing a few cooked items into their diets.

Raw Food Benefits

Since the raw food menu contains a lot of fruits, vegetables, and nuts it is also rich in nutrients. These vitamins and minerals support a healthy GI tract and immune system. That is why some formerly very sick individuals believe they have been cured by raw food.

It is not scientifically proven that raw food cures illness so people should not give up their medical treatments in favor of raw food just yet. Individual experiences are legitimate but not valid at the clinical level.

Nonetheless, the argument is compelling and makes sense: refined, packaged, cooked, and fast foods contain genetically modified ingredients, chemicals, sugar, and saturated fats. They lack essential vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals. Not only are ingredients and methods killing North Americans by causing cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and heart disease; consumers are not ingesting enough vitamins and minerals to fight illness.

Antioxidants top the list of free-radical-fighting particles found in super foods, citrus fruits, and green tea, including matcha green tea.

“Matcha” means “ground tea” or “powdered tea” – and you drink the ENTIRE tea leaf with matcha. If you want to try it, have a look at this organic matcha tea by IdealRaw – As an added bonus, we discovered this Ideal Raw Coupon Code that will give you 20% off your purchase: Matcha20. Might be worth a try! Click Here to visit their Organic Matcha Tea page.

Vitamin C is a particular favorite for its role in fighting the common cold, aging, and cancer. Omega fatty acids support healthy brain and muscle function (you find those in nuts). Fiber has already been mentioned for its digestive importance. Healthy digestion supports nutrient absorption, helps the body to excrete toxic waste, and also promotes weight loss.

Raw Recipes

If you thought raw eating would be dull, visit a page of recipes and learn how wrong you are. You could be eating pizzas, cakes, and cocktails on this eating plan. Learn to value food and really taste it once more.

One very popular guide to a Raw Food Diet is this one by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram (featured in the video below), available on Amazon: The Fully Raw Diet: 21 Days to Better Health, with Meal and Exercise Plans, Tips, and 75 Recipes

Then, there are a lot of companies out there that make it easy to whip up a raw food shake or meal replacement. Many also sell raw juices, and more. Here is a short list of a few of them – simply click on any of them to visit their pages:

IdealRaw.com (supplements, organic matcha tea, organic raw vegan protein powders, more)

SunburstSuperfoods.com (they carry raw organic Non-GMO superfood powders and products, including Garden of Life, Artisana Organics  [raw nut butters], sprout powders, juices, more. They also offer free shipping on all orders over $49.)

RawGeneration.com (home of truly raw juices, shipped frozen to you – Use the Raw Generation coupon code “Skinny70” at checkout to save 70% off your order.)

JUSByJulie.com (noted for raw, freshly blended juices and soups as part of a detoxing diet and wellness maintenance. They frequently offer great deals, but they tend to be quick moving and expire quickly. Search for their awesome coupons on Google, and you’ll find plenty.)

Raw Food
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Jana Evans

Janet Evans is our resident Health Nut and aspiring chef. She can shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's with her eyes closed.