What is a Raw Food Diet?

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Although the term “raw food diet” is bantered about like another fad diet, a diet based on raw foods is a long-term lifestyle choice that simply encourages eating more foods in their natural, uncooked or altered state. A raw food diet focuses on eating unprocessed foods so that you get all the nutritional value without dangerous preservatives or food additives.

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A Raw Food Diet Defined

If you seek to cleanse your system of built up toxins, improve your overall health, lose weight or prevent diabetes, it isn’t necessary to adopt a “raw vegan diet” or radically change your lifestyle. Adopting a raw food diet is making small changes such as adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains to your regular diet while slowly eliminating processed foods such as deli meats and canned foods with unwanted additives and excess salt and seasonings.

 

Good For You

A raw food diet helps prevent nutrient deficiencies, improves digestion by the addition of more high-fiber foods, helps to achieve optimum liver function, treats or prevents constipation, and contributes to lower the number of carcinogens in the diet. Benefits of a raw diet include weight loss and increased energy. Extensive medical research indicates that following a raw food diet also improves heart health, helps prevent cancer and lowers inflammation.

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Research also shows that following a raw food diet helps isolate and eliminate food allergies, clear up stubborn skin conditions including acne and eczema while lowering blood pressure and helping to prevent migraine headaches. Common food allergies that cause many people problems include sugar, dairy, eggs, wheat (gluten) and soy. As you adopt a raw diet you will discover what is causing you stomach distress and be able to avoid the offending food item.

Individuals in pursuit of optimum health often ask how much raw food they must add to their diet to make an impact on their health and well-being. While there is no particular or standard  type of raw food diet that experts suggest over another, there are different kinds or variances of raw food diets available, all with different degrees and advices on how foods can be cooked. The best balance is a plant-based diet that incorporates raw and cooked foods.

Dependent on the type of raw food diet your decided to follow, a raw food diet can include more than fresh vegetables and fruits. Consider adding  eggs, fish, fermented foods sprouted grains,some raw dairy products ,seeds and even raw meats or raw seafood. The primary guideline that ties all the different variations of a raw diet together is that the dieter eliminates foods that have been homogenized, pasteurized, cultivated or made through the use of chemical fertilizers,  industrial solvents, chemical food additives, or synthetic pesticides.

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Following A Raw Food Diet Requires Commitment

Committing to follow a raw diet requires avoiding or substantially reducing favorite processed and packaged foods such as bottled condiments, cheese, crackers, candy bars, cereals, processed meats, and refined oils.

Common food allergies that cause many people problems include sugar, dairy, eggs, wheat (gluten) and soy. As you adopt a raw diet, you will discover what is causing you stomach distress and be able to avoid the offending food item.

 

Take It Slow And Easy

Adopting a raw food diet is not something to do overnight, rather it is a slow and steady process of eliminating processed foods and substituting with a raw food alternative. You are only limited by your imagination: it is all a matter of small steps. Your system will respond in the best manner if you incorporate changes gradually. Have an apple instead of a candy bar, a fruit smoothie instead of a sugary drink.

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If you are not a fan of fresh fruits and vegetables, it may be a bit of a challenge to adapt to a raw diet as your taste buds continue to crave artificial flavors, sugars, and fats. Be patient, as you eliminate more and more processed sugars and fats from your diet, the craving will decline and many old favorites will become too sweet or greasy to be enjoyed. Opt for lightly steamed vegetables instead of French fries or onion rings. Select a salad and lean steak instead of a grease soaked burger on a bun.

A raw food diet offers a host of benefits including preventing and correcting nutritional deficiencies, assisting liver function, prevents or treats constipation by adding more fiber to the diet, and dramatically reduces carcinogens in the diet. Nutritional research studies indicate that if you’re in a hurry into a new way of eating, you are likely to look at it as a temporary-remedy-kind-of-diet, rather than a major lifestyle change. If you go back to your bad habits of consuming processed foods, you are likely to regain the weight and give up on your new plan for maintaining health and well-being.

 

A Catalyst For Change

If you are ready for a fresh burst of energy, clear skin, and a slimmer shape, choosing raw foods means overhauling your lifestyle and paying attention to what you put in your mouth. Ordering fast take-away foods or just grabbing a sandwich on the go is the first habit to attempt to break. Most commercial meals contained excessive amounts of salt, fat, and preservatives. Stop and think about what you are about to ingest. Excess salt and artificial preservatives encourage the body to retain fluid, are tougher to digest, and harmful to heart health. So do you want to order a pizza?

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Saves Money

When you purchase many processed and pre-packaged foods you are paying as much for the cardboard container as you pay for the ingredients including additives and toxic chemicals. Why would you do that? Planning meals around fresh, raw ingredients are not only good for your body: they are good for your billfold. Eating meals you prepare yourself not only saves money, it means that you consume healthier ingredients. Without evening realizing it, your family will eat better as well.

 

A Raw Diet Changes Taste Buds

As you eliminate coffee, a processed beverage from your diet, coffee cravings will eventually decline. And you no longer need alcohol to get to sleep. Sugar cravings give way to a desire for a natural raw sweet and you will find yourself craving healthy, raw foods savored for their natural, unadulterated flavors.

If you don’t like to eat your veggies, remember this is not a quick-fix diet. If you are resistant or skeptical about the benefits of a raw diet, start with small changes. The way you feel will convince you of the merits of change. As you develop new healthy eating habits, enjoy experiencing more energy, see the glow in your complexion and watch unwanted pounds melt away, you may wonder why you didn’t start this plan of healthy eating years ago.

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Prepare To Be Amazed

Changing to a plant-based raw food diet will result in a few mild digestive issues as your body adapts to the changes of additional fiber in the diet. Be patient. You soon enjoy the feeling of a “cleaner” body, as you system releases stored up chemicals, additives, and toxins. Without realizing how or why you will soon find yourself repulsed by processed foods loaded with chemicals. Now that you know what is in many of the foods we commonly ingest, would you willing to put those poisons back in your body again?

A raw food diet offers a host of benefits including preventing and correcting nutritional deficiencies, assisting liver function, prevents or treats constipation by adding more fiber to the diet, and dramatically reduces carcinogens in the diet.

 

Discover Fresh Fruits

Many people limit their consumption to the choices of their childhood: bananas, apples, grapes and oranges. How boring? There are so many different stone as well as tropical fruits available in the market today. To truly enjoy a raw diet, experiment outside your comfort zone and try fruits you have never tasted before. Kiwi, Crenshaw melon, pineapple, mango, strawberries, black berries, blue berries, huckleberries, currants and white watermelon are but a few of the staples in the market. Ferret out the organic offerings of more than 1500 different tropical fruits primarily grown in Hawaii and California. Become creative and liven up your diet with star fruit, passion fruit and golden berries.

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Do the research to discover fruits to entice your taste buds and delight the senses. Experiment with made from scratch salad dressings and sauces. One of the most creative ways to enhance your diet is to incorporate new and different fruits into smoothies. Add honey, protein powder, bee pollen or other supplements to create a healing, healthy drink to energize the body throughout the day.

 

From Bland To Boring

If you fail to get excited about the thought of a diet heavy in vegetables, focus how good they will make you feel.  Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Vegetables are rich in fiber and very low in calories. Add a bit of lemon juice, fresh ground pepper, or a dash of garlic powder as a replacement for salt. A bit of thyme or rosemary accents the flavor of potatoes and squash. As raw vegetables and fruits are added to the diet, the bulk of the fiber provides a feeling of fullness:  you eat less and excess pounds melt away without effort.

 

Develop A Taste For Ahi

Raw Ahi tuna and other saltwater fish used in traditional Sushi dishes are some of the best available sources of pure protein, when combined with a seaweed salad, lunch at the Sushi bar provides a burst of energy while the brown rice served as a side for carbs that boost endurance.

 

Nutty Nutrition

Vegans know that nuts are the best substitute for red meat in the diet. Add a handful of cashews to salads or include cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans to smoothies and curries and sauces. Add coconut for texture, fiber and flavor. Coconut, cashew or almond milk also makes great substitutes for dairy products or soymilk. If you are tired of peanut butter or wish to avoid peanut butter packed full of additives and preservatives, make your own. Homemade cashew, peanut, almond and hazelnut butters are easy to incorporate into the diet in a wide range of tasty ways. Be creative and find the raw food staples and snacks that you like best.

 

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