Raw foodism, also known as rawism, is a lifestyle that promotes consumption of unprocessed, uncooked, and organic foods as part of your diet. The advocates of raw foodism for a long time have presented it as an alternative and a superior dietary approach, relative to other diets.
Obviously, the supporters of raw foodism claim that this approach brings about multiple benefits that cooked or processed foods can’t. Raw foods are said to support our natural physiological processes without modifying them or intervening into their working style. In other words, raw foods are totally compatible with our body requirements.
Raw foods have been found to improve immunity to sickness and prevent many diseases. These foods contain essential nutrients which can be lost if they are cooked.
Raw food advantages
- Since raw food is primarily sourced from nature, your body is strengthened naturally and can stave off diseases for a longer duration.
- Raw foods are believed to contain enzymes, such asamylases, lipases and proteases that aid digestion. These enzymes are lost if food is cooked over 104 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Raw foods contain micro-organisms and bacteria that perform many useful functions, such as fermenting energy substrates that are unused, preventing harmful and pathogenic bacteria growth, and bolstering the immune system for your body.
- These foods are believed to have higher nutrient values than those of cooked foods.
- Raw foods do not contain excitotoxins, such as for example, flavor enhancers and do not cause excitotoxicity.
- They are high on antioxidants and help fight aging.
- They contain fewer trans fats and saturated fats than a typical Western diet. A typical raw food diet is also low on sodium and high on potassium, fiber, magnesium, and folate. Obviously, raw food is considered an excellent way to prevent heart disease and cancer.
- Raw foods, as its proponents claim, can increase the immunity levels in human beings. As such, you have increased protection from flu, cold, and measles. You can also prevent problems such as gas, indigestion, heartburn, and constipation.
- Studies over the years have shown that a raw diet has helped reduce and ward off obesity, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- According to a study by German researchers in 2003, women can significantly lower the risks of breast cancer by including a large amount of raw vegetables in their diet.
- According to another research carried out in Germany, raw foods consumed on a long term basis has been found to cause favorable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations.
- A research found that the consumption of unpasteurized milk can significantly reduce allergies.
- Raw foods naturally have more flavors than cooked foods and therefore, don’t have to add salt, spices or any kind of condiments that can cause irritation to your organs and digestive system.
However, if you are thinking of becoming a raw foodie, step back and think a while. You need to exercise some care before you embrace raw foods and see how far your body is going to accept them. Fred Bisci, a renowned nutritionist and food scientist has been a raw foodie for the last 40 years and believes that a raw vegan diet can be the healthiest diet one can ever follow. However, Fred Bisci adds that one needs to follow a vegan diet correctly and monitor their nutrient levels regularly.
Indeed, the emphasis must be correctness and more importantly, on customization. No two human bodies are same and their requirements will vary widely too. Therefore, you should not be swayed by what the confirmed raw foodies say about raw foodism and must stick to what is beneficial for you. Consulting your doctor and taking a few medical tests to ascertain the suitability might be a good idea.
You need to watch out for certain deficiencies that may occur if you have been on a prolonged raw vegan diet. Vitamin B12 deficiency may eventually set in and those living in a cold climate may suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Taking a blood test and nutrient profile will be really helpful in determining the extent and nature of deficiencies. According to Fred Bisci, a raw vegan diet works wonders when one complements the diet with vitamin B12, vitamin D and other mineral supplements. In a nutshell, balance is the key to staying healthy and energetic with a raw food diet.