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Get fresh: understanding raw foods

While the raw food diet appears to be having a moment, this diet practice is certainly no trend. It has been around for thousands of years (how to you think early humans ate before we mastered the fire?).

raw food diet

It was prominent in Ancient Greece, with evidence showing that the philosopher Hippocrates, better known today as the “Father of Medicine,” ate a primarily raw vegan diet. He notoriously said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” let’s if he was onto something.

What is the raw food diet?

The raw food diet, also sometimes known as the raw vegan diet, is typically made up of whole, unrefined, plant based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which are consumed in their natural state, without cooking or steaming above 120 degrees.

Raw foodists believe cooking destroys enzymes that are essential to human health.

Wouldn’t there be deficiencies in my diet?

Sprouts

There is no essential nutrient in meat, grains, legumes, or dairy that is not also available in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. And often, these plant-based nutrients are in a form that is easier to digest.

For example, we’re often told milk and dairy products are essential for bone health. But the calcium absorption from milk by our bodies is only about 32 percent, whereas most leafy green vegetables have a calcium absorption rate of over 50 percent. Brussels sprouts have an absorption rate of 64 percent – double that of milk!

But what about protein?

There are plenty of ways to get sufficient protein while eating raw. Sprouts are one of the best sources on the planet. 20-35% of the calories derived from these nutritional powerhouses are protein. The bioSnacky Original seed sprouter makes it easier than ever to grow your own sprouts at home. It’s time and cost effective, and will provide you with more than enough protein for a raw diet.

raw fruit or vegetable juice
Will I just be eating salads all the time?

When people hear the words “raw food diet,” they often assume it’s going to be bowls after bowls of iceberg lettuce, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is estimated that the total number of plant species in the world is 270,000 – that’s a whole lot of plants to choose from!

Eat them as they are, blend into smoothies and soups, or for easy digestion, try a raw fruit or vegetable juice. With the addition of nuts and seeds there are tones of beautiful food combinations that can be made on this diet.

Fermented foods are also fair game, so feel free to incorporate sauerkraut and kimchi into your meals.

What are the impacts of this diet on overall health?

Those eating a diet of raw foods typically report:
-    Increased energy levels
-    More youthful appearance
-    Improved skin
-    Weigh loss
-    Improved digestion
-    Reduction of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes

Raw food was a staple for our ancestors, and it appears for good reason. Whether you want to commit to eating fully raw, or just incorporate a few more fruits and veggies into your diet, we can all certainly gain something by eating a little more raw.

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