Raw food diet is the practice of eating uncooked and unprocessed food. It includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts seeds and dairy products. It can also include natural processed food like curd and sprouts. Our body is primitively adapted to eating uncooked food though cooking allows us to eat more calories in one meal and it also destroys enzymes and certain nutrients. You must consult a dietitian before switching to raw diets completely as it can interfere with certain pre existing medical conditions in the body. Raw food diets are very environment friendly and the waste produced is also completely organic. One can definitely adopt this diet for rejuvenating their body. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, about the benefits and risks of raw food diet.
Benefits of raw food diet
People tend to shift on raw food diet, because it can help in detoxification and cleansing of our body. It focuses mostly on weight loss and relaxation of the gut. It has proven benefits on your overall vitals. According to Dr. Anjali, here are the benefits of raw food diet:
1. Improves bone and teeth health
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Raw food diet contains less acidic food and more alkaline food which is more compatible for our body. It promotes overall bone and teeth health. Raw foods contain high amounts of vitamin C which also improves gum health and prevents cavities.
2. Increases energy
Digestion in humans is a very tiring process. Raw food diet constitutes of ingredients which are simpler and contain plant enzymes which aids digestion. When digestion is less demanding, our energy levels are elevated and we feel more energetic.
3. Better bowel movement
Raw foods contain much more amount of roughage tha cooked food. Fibre rich diet promotes regular bowel movements. Fibre also helps in lowering the amount of mucus from your intestines which results in better absorption of nutrients.
4. Full of toxins
When we consume diets that are rich in fats and processed food items, our fibre intake is compromised. These foods tend to stay for longer hours in our gut which results in release of toxins. Following a raw food diet can help in reducing the production of these toxins in the body and improving overall vitals.
5. Good for kidney
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Raw food diets usually contain more of fruits and vegetables. It contains less amount of proteins. It can be very beneficial for those dealing with issues like kidney failure. Foods like watermelon and cucumber act as diuretic in the body and can even help in flushing out kidney stones.
6. Aids weight loss
Raw foodism can help a lot if you want to looe a few inches from your waist. It can help a lot in reducing bloating and eliminating water weight from your body. Uncooked food contains very few calories in large volume of food. It helps to cut fats, sugars and complex carbohydrates from our diet which becomes a major cause of weight gain.
7. Anti ageing properties
Raw food diets are rich in vitamins and minerals which help your body in functioning better. It also helps in eliminating toxins from our skin and tightening it. Our overall tiredness and sleep quality also increases which has very positive anti ageing effects on our internal organs as well as the skin.
Risks of raw food diet
Suddenly shifting to a very strict raw foods diet might be difficult for your body. You should always be sensible and easy with your body's habits when switching diets. Here are the risks of raw food diet:
1. Limited choices
Cooking food items helps in enhancing flavours and aroma in the food. When you switch to raw food diet, it might make you feel very restricted when you are reaching out for food options.
2. Food poisoning
Cooking food has been a skill which has made human beings capable of survival and flourishing because they were able to eliminate a number of diseases and infections that are caused due to raw foods. Hence, you must take care that you wash and clean your food thoroughly before eating to avoid any kind of food poisoning and food borne infections.
3. Nutritional deficiencies
One of the major challenge that people face while following a raw food diet is that they are not able to meet their protein requirements. Some people do not have enough appetite to consume enough foods to meet their other requirements and it can lead to deficiency.
What to eat in raw food diet?
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You can include various seeds such as chia seeds based puddings for your breakfast. You should refrain from using unpasteurized milk and eggs as they might be contaminated. You can include a variety of fruits and berries to add a punch of antioxidants in your diet.
You can include foods like lettuce rolls for your main course. You just need to fold your favourite vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, avocados and some seeds. You can be free with the quantity of foods as they contain very few calories so you need not watch your portions in such meals.
You can simply include a fruit bowl in your snacks. It will help to satisfy your sugar cravings. You can try including yogurts and juices to satisfy your hunger in between meals. Juices and smoothies can help you providing enough hydration and nutrients to your body.
You can include fulfilling foods like sprouts and raw vegan lasagna for your dinner. You can include a variety of raw vegetables in your diet like carrots cucumbers, radish etc.
The crux is that you should be cautious of the risks that come along with following a raw food diet. You should know about the pros and cons of your body and it is better to consult a dietician before adopting extreme food habits. You are more aware about what is more suitable for your body.
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