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Raw-curious: Why you should try a raw food diet

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Originally posted on fuchsia-revolver.org but updated with new content. I thought that this would be an excellent post to reflect on and update as we are approaching the start of yet another new year and new resolutions for healthier, cleaner eating. You can also learn about the whos-who of raw food and tools that make raw food prep easy. I’m not a dietician or medical professional, so please consult with your doctors before changing your eating habits or starting any new diets. Also, this is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands or individuals mentioned here. 

You may already know that once upon a time, I had a marketing internship at a raw food company. In spite of some of the personalities that I encountered in my month-long journey, working there not only gave me some business experience at the time, a first-hand look at what it took to get a small business off the ground, but also opened my eyes to the world of raw, organic foods.

Raw food is not just uncooked food—it’s a little more specific than that if you ask anyone that follows a raw food diet. Typically, any food kept under 104 degrees Fahrenheit is considered “raw”. I have also heard that anything under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is considered “raw”, too.

Here are some points I have heard in favor of consuming raw vs. cooked foods:

  • Raw, “living” foods are more nutritious than cooked. They retain their enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff that our body needs. By contrast, enzymes can be “killed off” in the cooking (baking, steaming, grilling) process, producing food that is “dead” in terms of nutritional value to the body.
  • Similar to the above, most raw foods are easier for the body to digest since they are in their most “natural” form.
  • Cooking may add extra carcinogens and toxins that contaminate the food. Grilling over charcoal is one common example. Charcoal briquettes contain wood dust, shavings, and additives to bind the ingredients, with some brands even using waxes or petroleum solvents to help the charcoal burn better.

Raw food diets are riffs on diets that already exist. For example, a raw omnivore would eat a “standard” diet that many are familiar with: one that includes raw meats (think sushi, sashimi, tartare, and ceviche), vegetables, dairy products, nuts, fruits, and seeds. A raw vegetarian might eat the same, excluding the meat, while a raw vegan would exclude all animal products (dairy, meats, as well as honey.)

Like all diets, raw food diets can be adapted from person to person to exclude or include things per the individual’s taste or dietary needs.

Would you try a raw food diet; why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

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