What Is the Raw Food Diet? The raw food diet is popular for several reasons. First off, it can make you healthier. If you want to lose a few pounds (who doesn’t?) raw food is the way to go. Incidentally, you might fall in love with this healthy diet plan for another reason …it’s super simple!
You eat mostly raw foods. You focus on healthy foods that include fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. You can also eat uncooked grains, and this usually means either soaking or sprouting the grains before you eat them.
That’s it. That is all there is to the raw food diet. As with any healthy eating plan, make sure you drink a lot of water throughout the day. You may also drink herbal teas, as long as you leave out unhealthy sugar or similar sweeteners.
1 – Benefits of the Raw Food Diet
A raw foods diet can lead to better clarity and focus. You may see your hair and skin become healthier and younger looking. Additionally, there are the 4 major health benefits listed below.
Improved Heart Health – The website Healthline has linked a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables to healthy blood pressure levels. This in turn reduces the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Healthline is far from the only place you can find recommendations for following a raw foods diet plan to make your heart healthier.
The Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association are globally recognized health authorities. They recommend eating a plant-based diet which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouted whole grains and legumes for making your heart stronger and healthier.
Weight Loss – The wonderfully healthy foods you will be eating naturally lead to weight loss if you are overweight. You don’t have to count calories and carbohydrates either. Just eat the approved foods. Nature does the rest.
Your body will start to move towards its naturally healthy weight. This is because a plant-based diet is extremely high in minerals, enzymes, vitamins and essential fatty acids, healthy protein and nutrients your body craves. At the same time, you limit the number of calories and carbohydrates that get into your body, so weight loss if you are overweight is a benefit of the process.
Reduced Risk of Developing Diabetes – Now that your heart is healthier and you have lost some excess body weight, guess what that leads to? You begin to reduce the odds that you will develop diabetes. Highly processed foods deliver a lot of empty calories and carbohydrates, and anywhere from 5 to 10 times the amount of sugar which is healthy for you to consume.
That combination has led to what the World Health Organization (WHO) calls a global diabetes epidemic. The raw foods diet helps naturally regulate your blood sugar level and this in turn makes you less likely to develop diabetes.
Improved Digestion – Did you know that a lot of human disease and illness begins with an unhealthy gut? It’s true. When your gut isn’t working properly, you don’t absorb all the wonderful nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are contained in the foods you eat. This can lead to a number of mental and physical health problems.
Research shows a raw food diet can improve your digestive system. This happens because you are increasing the nutrition that gets into your body. Since you are avoiding highly processed foods, your digestive system and your entire body is not starving for minerals and nutrients.
When you enjoy healthy digestion, you improve your overall well-being in a number of ways. Eating mostly plant-based foods, which is what you will be doing on a raw food diet, is a great way to improve your digestion.
2 – Best Foods to Eat on a Raw Diet
Some raw food eaters include raw eggs and a limited number of unpasteurized dairy products in their meals. Vegans that go the raw route eat no animal products of any kind. There are also raw food omnivores which eat both animal-based and plant-based foods. All raw food dieting variations agree that the following subsections of healthy food are allowed.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Go crazy here. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you like. Raw food diet staples include avocados and berries, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and all lettuces. Stock up on asparagus, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Tomatoes, carrots and onions, zucchini and eggplants are all raw food diet-friendly. Raw food diet fruits include grapefruits and pineapples, apples and mangoes, cranberries and olives. If it is a fresh, unprocessed fruit or vegetable, chow down.
Nuts and Seeds – What nuts can you eat on the raw food diet? Walnuts, almonds and cashews can be eaten raw or mashed into a paste or butter. The same is true with Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pine nuts. Nut milks such as almond milk are acceptable. Hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds, Chia, sunflower, flax and sesame seeds are in play.
Uncooked Grains – The idea of eating uncooked grains may not sound too appetizing. Some grains can be lightly steamed, and you can also consume sprouted grains. These include gluten-free grains such as millet, buckwheat and quinoa. You can soak, sprout or lightly steam amaranth, millet and barley, oats and wild rice.
Miscellaneous – Some folks on the raw food diet include cold pressed olive oil, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. You may decide to eat probiotic-rich fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi as well. Sea salt finds its way onto raw food diet shopping lists, but use sparingly.
3 – Raw Food Diet Weight Loss Recipes (All Pictures shown are for illustration purpose only)
When you are whipping together the following 4 recipes, use organic ingredients whenever you can. Organic food is cleaner and safer than food items which have not earned the organic label. Regarding organic food in the United States, The Soil Association reports that an organic diet increases the level of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants in the food you are eating.
Food that is labeled organic also helps you avoid the pesticides and hormones that are found in many non-organic foods. This means your raw food organic meals are as healthy as they possibly can be. Now let’s get cooking some healthy meals!
Raw Food Burrito Recipe – Talk about super simple. This is a healthy burrito alternative. You can make them a variety of different ways, swapping out or changing the ingredients so these raw food wraps please even the pickiest eaters.
- Fresh lime, lemon or orange juice
- Diced or mashed ripe avocados
- Diced tomato
- Diced jalapeno pepper
- Diced onion
- Freshly minced garlic
- Freshly chopped cilantro
- Diced pineapple
- Steamed quinoa
- Large lettuce leaves
Notice we didn’t add any quantities here. This is because you can build these healthy “burritos” anyway you like. You can use romaine or butter lettuce for your wrapping material. Cabbage, collard greens and other dark leafy greens work as well.
Just place your wrapping material on your plate and fill it up with whatever raw food ingredients you desire. Drizzle with freshly made lime, lemon or orange juice, wrap up and enjoy.
Shiitake Kale Salad – If you like mushrooms, you will love this quick and easy raw foods recipe.
- 4 to 6 cups of chopped kale
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- A sprinkle of sea salt
This will serve 3 or 4 people. Beat or massage the kale until it appears wilted. Add kale and olive oil in a large salad bowl. Toss and add the mushrooms and apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with seeds, salt and serve.
Raw Zucchini Pasta – Purchase a spiralizer. They come as cheap as $5 or over $50. They turn zucchinis, squash and other veggies into healthy pasta alternatives. Because they make curly, spiral-shapes they make food more fun and appetizing for picky eaters. Get your hands on a julienne cutter as well, for the same reason.
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups chopped purple cabbage
- 2 pears
- 2 or 3 small zucchinis (preferably long and as straight as possible)
Directions here are simple. Run the zucchinis through your spiralizer. Julienne the pears. Toss all ingredients together and enjoy a wonderfully healthy meal.
Immunity Boosting Green Juice – Joe Cross is an Australian entrepreneur. He found himself dangerously unhealthy and decided to do something about it. In his movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, he chronicles how he drank nothing but raw, healthy fruit juices for 60 days. He made this green juice recipe every day, and it helped him lose 82 pounds. It gives your immunity a boost while delivering lots of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
(This one requires a juicing machine. Adding a juicer to your kitchen on the raw foods diet is highly recommended.)
- 1 cucumber
- 2 green apples
- 1 inch of ginger root
- 8 kale leaves (with stalks)
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 lemon
Clean all produce well. Core the apple and peel the lemon, then send all ingredients to your juicer. You can combine just about any of your favorite fruits and vegetables to make a delicious and nutritious, fresh juice. Use no more than 20% fruits in your juices to keep your natural sugar intake down.
The raw food diet takes you back to basics. It moves your mealtime habits closer to nature. This dramatically minimizes the amount of processing that routinely removes a lot of the nutrients and minerals from food. More of the natural components in healthy food get into your body.
This leads to a healthier heart. Science tells us that a raw food diet lowers the probability that you will become overweight or obese. Your chances of developing diabetes drop significantly. You experience better mental and physical health throughout your body because your digestive system improves.