Naturally fresh raw foods that are plant-based are healthier and more nutritious than cooked foods rich in meat, plant dishes, and commercialized food items, considering if the raw food to be eaten is clean and free from physical, biological, chemical, and radiological hazards.
Raw food eaters said that foods heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit lose a lot of nutrients and phytochemicals that fight diseases and inflammation in the body.
Naturally, fresh raw foods are high in some nutrients and will supply our body’s daily needs if we mix them with lesser quantity and mass of cooked foods on a plate.
75% of the plate should allow space for naturally fresh raw foods and 25% less should be focused on cooked foods seen on an individual’s plate.
According to Tiffani Bachus R.D.N. and Erin Macdonald R.D.N., co-founders of “U Rock Girl!”, a website designed to nourish the mind, body, and spirit of women of all ages and stages of life, “There are no hard rules about what percentage of the diet must be raw, but usually, at least 75% of the diet consists of raw foods and no animal products are enough”.
Let’s go fresh and eat natural, but how?
A raw diet is composed of plant-based food items, fresh and organic, and can cut down the calorie content of each meal as it is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and beans.
In the article of Randall Stafford, MD, Ph.D., and a professor of medicine at Stanford University, he quoted, “Raw is the ultimate unprocessed food diet that our body will be burning calories while extracting nutrients from foods.
Avocado, olive oil, seaweed, and sun-dried fruits are included as well, the reason why this diet is a rich source of healthy fats and fiber.
It is much lower in saturated fats in high-fat foods such as pork and beef. It is also low in trans fat from packed and processed food items such as powdered flour, white sugar, butter, and margarine.
Raw food diet plan
The raw food diet plan is high in fiber since most food items included on the plate are from fruits and vegetables.
According to the American Heart Association, an average individual should consume at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber from natural foods, not supplements, daily.
The raw food diet has a higher amount of fiber than the normal range a person should eat. Some nutrients are present in raw foods and unavailable in cooked food.
An example of this is Sulforaphane, a powerful cancer-fighting phytochemical found in Broccoli, and if it undergoes cooking, the level of sulforaphane decreases.
Another example is Allicin, a phytochemical found in onion and garlic with natural antibiotic properties that are available when eaten raw but are also reduced significantly through cooking.
Flavonoids, which are found in raw cacao beans, nibs, and powders, when eaten raw, are anti-inflammatory and fight several diseases in the body, and they may disappear when these foods are exposed to high heat.
There is also a downside in eating raw foods since they lack protein and do not include foods rich in B-Vitamins, Fat-Soluble Vitamins, and some minerals such as Iron and Iodine. This may lead to immune deficiency and affect our bones, blood, and other organs that need these minerals to function well.
It also risks an individual since most foods are uncooked and may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are destroyed through heat exposure and cooking.
Certain substances are formed highly available through cooking, such as Lycopene in Tomatoes that helps lower harmful cholesterol levels in the body and Carotenoids from leafy greens, colorful foods, and squash that increase the function of the immune system in the body and contribute to healthy eyesight.
Raw foods can also expose an individual to goitrogens that lower the availability of iodine and may cause Iodine deficiency disorders such as Goiter, most especially in women.
Raw foods are not recommended for pregnant women, people with immune disorders, young individuals who need immediate health attention, and older people who are prone to metabolic disorders.
This kind of diet is not recommended for long-term use; according to the study of Randall Stafford, a professor from Stanford University, “A healthy short-term diet that is difficult to follow long-term because of the limited food choices and the limited amounts of protein and some important nutrients”.
According to a study back in 1999 conducted by a team of Professors, Koebnick C, Strassner C, Hoffmann I, and Leitzmann C., from the Institute of Nutritional Science Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany, 216 men and 297 women consuming raw foods for almost 3 years and 7 months, with different intensities showed a more significant loss in weight but is not recommended for a long term use.
The study concluded that “Consuming a raw food diet is associated with a high body weight loss. Since many raw food dieters exhibited underweight and amenorrhea, a rigorous raw food diet cannot be recommended on a long-term basis”.
Be alive and healthy!
A raw food diet brings out health benefits and hazards simultaneously. People should know how to balance their meals, including raw and cooked foods. It is just a matter of timing; people should still know when to eat cooked foods and when to include raw foods.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the writer of Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, says, “You are what you eat”.
Clean and safe foods are much better than drinking medicines to treat and cure food-borne diseases and metabolic disorders such as Heart Problems and Stroke.
Whether raw or cooked foods will always have good and bad effects on our body, depending on how we eat or how much we eat. Our body will always react to the food items we eat and drink and how we manage our diet.
1. Raw Food Diet by Breast Cancer Organization; Date: May 08, 2013.
2. Consequences of a Long-Term Raw Food Diet on Body Weight and Menstruation: Results of a Questionnaire Survey. By Koebnick C. Strassner C. Hoffmann I. and Leitzmann C. from Institute of Nutritional Science Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany. The year 1999.