Eat for Life: Is A Raw Food Diet Right For You?

green and red healthy foodAre you curious about a raw food diet and how to try it?

Changing to a raw food diet (or a ‘high raw’ diet) is a great way to get all the nourishing enzymes and life force from the food you eat.

Benefits of a raw food diet

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Energizes the body
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps digestion
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Reduces allergies

What exactly is a raw food diet?

The raw food diet is based on the idea that eating food in it’s raw form allows your body to absorb all the nutritional benefits of a particular food. It also helps your body stay in a more alkaline state, which in turn increases overall health and prevents disease.

This type of diet recommends that you eat at least 75% of your food raw. The other 25% can be lightly cooked as long as the cooking temperature is less than 47 degrees Celsius. Food cooked above this temperature loses many of its vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Cooking can reduce foods nutritional value and may even create toxins in the food from certain cooking methods.

Foods are consumed in: whole raw from, juiced, sprouted (beans, seeds and grains) hydrated (dried fruits and nuts) and dehydrated. Different preparation methods take each food’s optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients into account.

Food’s included in the diet are:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • coconut milk
  • raw almond milk
  • sprouted whole grains
  • sprouted beans
  • nuts, seaweed
  • sauerkraut
  • kefir
  • spring, mineral and filtered water
  • herbal teas
  • fruit and vegetable juices

Food’s to avoid are:

  • processed foods
  • sugar
  • soft drinks
  • hydrogenated fats
  • mushrooms
  • peas and potatoes
  • artificial colours/ flavours and preservatives.

There are many variations possible for a raw food diet. For some people it can also include raw animal products like: raw un-pasteurised dairy, sashimi, beef and lamb as well as eggs.

Raw food must be washed thoroughly to lessen the chance of exposure to food born bacteria. Care must also be taken when adding in raw animals products such as meat and fish. Poultry and pork should never be eaten raw.

Some vegetables provide more vitamins when cooked, such as tomatoes and carrots but you can still eat them raw as well.

How to try the raw diet

Trying a new diet can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. The best way is to start slowly. Add a few new raw foods each week to your usual diet or make one day a week a totally raw day. Make a raw smoothie for breakfast, having a salad for lunch, snacking on raw vegetables during the day. Substituting cooked vegetables for raw ones is an easy switch.

This diet may have health risks if you are: diabetic, pregnant or nursing, elderly, have anemia or bone issues, or are a child. If consuming a raw food diet be sure you get the essential minerals and vitamins such as: zinc, iron and vitamin B12.

To check your zinc levels you can take our in-store Zinc Tally Test.

Ask for the Right Advice at Mr Vitamins

Before you ‘go raw’, ‘ask a naturopath or nutritionist’ if this diet is right for you and can help improve your health. You can also consult with Nutritionist Karen Ball.

And if you are interested to talk to our vegan experts… Both Thomas and Mike have had super success with long term vegan lifestyles and both a great wealth of wisdom and knowledge.

Mr Vitamins