You may have already heard of the raw food diet, but you might not be entirely sure what it’s all about. There are a lot of fad diets out there that are more centered on weight loss and calorie restriction than the health and sustainability of the diet and the people who eat that way. From paleo diets to keto diets to 80/10/10, it can be hard to figure out what’s actually best for our bodies. However, the raw food diet may hold a lot of answers for many people, especially when we take history into consideration.
Raw food has historically been the most readily available to humans throughout time — not necessarily in the form of eating raw meat or anything scary like that — but specifically when it comes to plant foods like fruits and vegetables, straight from the earth. Eating raw food isn’t so much of a diet as it is a natural state of being for many peoples’ food sources.
When you think about it, you probably eat a lot of raw food already. That apple earlier today? Raw food. That salad you had for lunch? Raw food. Those carrot sticks you like to munch on? All raw food. Raw food can be highly transformative, but also a basic switch. Here are some of the ways that a raw food diet can be so good for your health.
It’s no secret that hydrating, nutrient-dense raw foods can boost your energy levels. Many athletes even bulk up on dark leafy greens and smoothies to give them some pep before competitions and training sessions. But did you know that incorporating raw food into your diet on a consistent basis can boost your overall energy levels throughout the day? Spreading out your raw food intake can help perk you up and give you more power and energy, so you can truly tackle anything.
Raw food diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables have been linked to disease prevention in many forms, and people need much more of that. In fact, the CDC reports that healthcare spending on Americans with chronic conditions are more than 75% per year, which is concerning, especially for those trying to heal and prevent chronic illness. Raw food consumption has been linked to the prevention of kidney disease, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and type two diabetes. Additionally, it can lower your risk of stroke and heart failure. While these benefits can often be linked to plant based foods — not just raw foods — raw food consumption provides fresh and nutrient-dense foods with lots of hydration.
Weight Loss and Fat Loss
Raw food diets can help with weight loss — as can many diets — but the type of weight loss is what matters the most. Since raw food is hydrating and nutrient-dense, with the addition of providing more energy, it can specifically contribute to fat reduction and fat loss. While losing weight can mean the loss of both muscle and fat, the reduction of processed fat, sodium and oil intake — and the intake of fresh, healthy plant fats like avocado — can lead to a specific reduction of fat. This can lead to a much healthier and more comfortable lifestyle if that’s what your goal is.
Less Processed Foods
Like mentioned above, eating more raw food often leads to a reduction — or complete elimination — of processed foods. Processed foods are traditionally higher in saturated fat, sodium and oils, while not providing sufficient nutrients, leading to a sluggish, full feeling without the energy boost or satisfaction that food should ideally provide. While of course, you can engage in a treat every once in a while to curb your sweet tooth or socialize, but a raw food diet will likely keep you much more connected with nutritious, whole plant foods.
You might be wondering what this nutrient density thing is really all about. In short, raw plant foods have more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants per calorie than processed, cooked and non-plant foods do. Specifically, this centers around your micronutrient count — the vitamins and minerals responsible for energy production, immune system function and other processes within the body. When you eat plant foods that have more vitamins and minerals per calorie, you’re filling up on nutrition, not empty calories.
Not only do raw foods help improve energy levels and disease prevention, but they can also be highly effective in assisting the body’s function. While of course, everyone is different, many people find that increased raw food consumption improves digestive function.
Raw Food Magic
Of course, everyone’s body is different and has different needs, but consuming more raw food with higher nutrient density can help your body in so many ways. From weight loss to improved digestion, raw food could be a great addition to your lifestyle.