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Raw Food Diet: Different Types and Their Health Benefits

Jul 5, 2008
Only in the small "health nut" circles has the idea of eating a raw diet been mainstream. Lately, however, it is gaining more wide-spread popularity. An increasing number of people are now promoting the variety of benefits from eating raw food.

Advocates of a raw food diet believe it is the most logical diet for humans. After all, our hunting and gathering ancestors ate a large majority of their diet in raw form. Proponents believe raw food contains enzymes and nutritional content lost in the process of cooking the food.

Types of Raw Food Diets

There are varying degrees of a raw food diet.

* Raw foodism refers to a diet without any food restrictions as long as it's raw or warmed to less than 105 degrees.

* Raw vegans consume only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and legumes, and no animal products (meat or dairy).

* The Raw Paleolithic Dieters eat meat, organ-meats, fruit, vegetables, honey, nuts, fish, shellfish, and eggs. They exclude dairy, grains, legumes and vegetable juices from their diet.

Within their food restrictions, they all require that at least 75 percent of foods in the diet are eaten raw, or are warmed to a temperature of no more than 105 degrees prior to eating.

Benefits of the Raw Food Diet

* One of obvious benefits of a raw food diet is weight loss. As most raw food dieters eat only plant foods, fewer calories are usually consumed. The diet is also usually low in fat, unless a large amount of seeds and nuts are eaten regularly.

* Improved digestion is also a benefit of eating a raw food diet. This is due to the digestive enzymes present in raw foods, allowing the body's own enzymes to maintain their focus on regulating it's metabolism. People who complain of a low metabolism may benefit from eating more raw food. Others who complain of digestive issues such as acid reflux may also benefit.

* Those on the raw food diet often report an increase in energy. The body doesn't have to work as hard to produce enzymes, as they already exist in the raw food. They also tend not to combine proteins and carbs in the same meal which slows digestion and zaps our energy.

* The downside of eating cooked food in which the enzymes have been destroyed makes digestion more difficult. This could lead to toxins accumulating in the body, obesity and chronic disease.

* Raw foods contain beneficial bacteria and other micro-organisms that benefit the immune system and digestion by increasing the healthy gut flora in the digestive tract. You may have heard of taking probiotic supplements to achieve the same thing.

The raw food diet may sound like a life of deprivation to some, but it is not as limiting as one might think. Advocates believe there are a number of benefits backed up by scientific evidence. Try incorporating more raw food with each meal and experience the benefits yourself.

For example, try adding fresh fruit with breakfast, fresh cut vegetables at lunch, nuts and seeds for a snack and a salad at dinner. Experience for yourself the benefits of eating foods the way nature presents them.
About the Author
Deb Hoeve publishes a daily coaching newsletter offering unique approaches to weight loss and health restoration using the healing power of the body. Designed especially for people who have tried everything. Find out how you can finally achieve weight loss success and renewed health at http://www.MakeYourBodyLast.com . Also visit her blog for other health insights at Make Your Body Last Blog
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