Raw foods consist of unprocessed, fresh, whole, ripe, organic, plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds in their uncooked natural state. They can also include foods heated to no greater than up to 42C/118F.
A raw food diet is made up of predominantly plant-based foods that have not been cooked. People who adopt this diet are often referred to as “raw foodists” or “raw fooders”.
No. There are many different approaches to the raw food diet. Many of these include large amounts of fats from avocado, nuts, and seeds as a primary source of calories. These high-fat diets are unsustainable, since too much fat (even raw fat) can cause many health problems. This website promotes a low fat raw food diet predominated by fruit.
There are an innumerable amount of benefits from following a raw food diet some of which are:
More energy, glowing skin, improved digestion, mental clarity, improved sleep, increased vitality, and weight loss.
No. Just adding more raw foods into your diet you will start seeing benefits. Of course the more raw foods you include in your diet the better you will feel. For example, if you increase raw foods to 50% you will no doubt see many wonderful results, but eventually you may feel that you are not seeing any further progress. By increasing raw foods to the point where they are the majority of your diet, at least 75% or more you will really see a heightened level of healing and progress.
Learning how to eat properly on the raw food diet takes time, patience and effort, especially initially. It is rarely something that happens overnight. In fact, it may take years to accomplish. Since our taste buds have been exposed to so many toxic and stimulating ingredients such as sugar, salt, and many spices you may miss those flavors initially. However, with time as your taste buds are no longer exposed to them, they will once again develop an appreciation for the natural flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables and your desire for processed foods or sugar will greatly diminish. Not to mention, the trade off for how good you will feel usually makes it all worth it.
This is one of the number one questions people ask. True protein deficiency is rare. Over the years working as a nurse I have never encountered a patient that was diagnosed with such a deficiency. It is actually the contrary, too much protein in the diet which contributes to many serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer. Consuming an excess amount of protein creates an acidic condition in the body. To balance this condition the alkaline mineral reserves, primarily calcium, are leached from the bones and teeth leading to osteoporosis and tooth decay.
Many believe that meat, dairy foods and eggs are the only sources of protein. This is simply not true; all whole foods contain protein. One can obtain more than enough protein from a plant based raw food diet. On an average fruits contain 5% of their calories from protein. Vegetables, nuts and seeds contain from 20-50% of their calories from protein. Protein is primarily needed to build and repair tissue. It has been shown that the body does not need as much protein as previously thought. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that eating just 10% of our calories come from protein is more than sufficient. Leafy greens, and small amounts of nuts and seeds are optimal sources of protein and are are easily assimilated. In contrast to cooked protein which is only 50% assimilated. Plant based foods contain just the right amount of protein our bodies need.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables are complete nutritional packages and provide all the nutrients we need, in the proportions and ratios our bodies require for proper functioning. They contain the highest quality vitamins, minerals, proteins carbohydrates, fats and nutrients in general.
Fruits are richest in vitamins and water, while vegetables are richest in vitamins and water. Fruits are higher in calories than vegetables and are thus the ideal source of calories to keep us fueled properly and energized. The nutritional content of fruit comes closest to human nutritional needs than any other food group and should make up the majority of our diet. Vegetables and leafy greens should be included since they are an optimal source of minerals that some fruits may fall short in.
Our bodies require smaller amounts of both fats and proteins. All fruits and vegetables contain protein, even if not in high amounts so they still are an ideal source of both.
No matter what we eat (protein, carbohydrates or fats), for our cells to utilize any food for fuel it must first be broken down into simple sugars. Carbohydrates are the easiest to convert into these sugars. Glucose, which is a simple sugar, is the primary, preferred source of fuel for every tissue and cell of our bodies. In fact, some of our cells in the brain and nervous tissue depend almost exclusively on glucose for fuel.
There are two forms of simple carbohydrates: refined sugar ( that extracted from fruit, sugar cane or tubers), and whole foodsugars ( sugars primarily found in fruit). Refined sugars have undergone a chemical process stripping it of all minerals and fiber. It becomes purely empty calories, creating imbalances in the body. Unfortunately, with so much misinformation regarding nutrition many equate whole food sugars to the nutritionally bankrupt refined sugars. However, they are profoundly different. Fruit (whole food) sugars come in a highly nutritious package that matches our nutritional needs better than any other food. The fiber in whole fruits allows their sugars to absorb slowly and gradually, so high blood sugar is not an issue.
Freezing does destroy 30-60% of the enzymes in fruits, so eating them frozen is not ideal. The enzymes in frozen foods low in water content, such as nuts and seeds, are more resistant to destruction. So freezing fruits and vegetables should be done sparingly, but does not need to be totally eliminated. It’s what you do the majority of the time that counts.
The beans in coffee are roasted so they are no longer a raw food ingredient. Caffeine is a toxic substance known to deplete the body of water, calcium, potassium, manganese and the vitamin B complex. Coffee is very acidic stimulating the body to produce mucus as the means to expel the poisons, creating an acidic environment for the body. Overall it creates a very unhealthy condition in the body and can also be very addictive.
Vinegar in all its forms, including apple cider and balsamic, are highly toxic to the body. Vinegar is made with diluted acetic acid, which is a common poison found in the chemistry lab with a skull and cross bones on the bottle. Vinegar excessively stimulates the thyroid gland leading to hypothyroidism and other endocrine disorders. In order to negate the negative effects of acetic acid in the system, the body pulls phosphorus from the adrenal glands. Depleted phosphorous results in impaired function of the adrenal glands and thus the entire endocrine system. Repetitive use will also result in hardening of the liver.
Fruits and vegetables labeled organic has little or no pesticide residue or fertilizers with synthetic ingredients, there is no irradiation treatment, seeds are chemical-free and the fertilizer is natural. If it is USDA organic it takes it a step further guaranteeing the produce to be GMO-free. Organic produce has been shown to contain more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than conventionally grown produce. For example, berries were shown to contain 58% more antioxidants than those grown conventionally. When possible buying organic is optimal.
Organic produce is always preferred but you can still get benefits from eating non-organic produce. If you cannot find organic produce or simply cannot afford it please don’t let that stop you from eating fruits or vegetables. A plate of non-organic fruit or salad is still much preferred over junk food, or a plate of cooked food. If it is a matter of budget and you simply cannot buy 100% organic that’s okay. Look for the fruits that have thick peels like bananas or citrus to buy non-organic and try to buy your greens and thin skinned produce like bell peppers and apples organic. Here is a detailed guide for which produce is the most important to buy organic: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/.
Initially it may seem that you are spending a lot more money, especially buying organic. Yet, in comparison to the cost of refined, processed junk foods and meat you will usually spend either the same or even considerably less. In the long run you will be saving money on future doctor bills and the cost of prescription medication.