Have you heard about a Raw Food Diet? Just what is a Raw Food Diet? This diet is gaining in popularity, not just as a way to loose weight, but a change in lifestyle that helps you live a long and healthy life. I found the idea very interesting, so I did some research and the following is what I discovered.
Raw Food Defined
A raw food diet, also known as a Living Food Diet, is essentially a vegan produce diet that includes fruits, nuts, vegetables and juices. This diet differs from other vegan diets in that no food is heated above 116 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important because heating food above this temperature destroys the inherent food enzymes and the majority of vitamins and minerals in the food.
The Importance of Enzymes
The importance of raw food enzymes is that our bodies have only a limited ability to produce their own enzymes. The body produces both metabolic and digestive enzymes. The metabolic enzymes are essential to every reaction in the body. The digestive enzymes are used to breakdown the food we eat.
When you eat cooked foods, you force your body to use more of its own enzyme reserves to digest the cooked food.
Over time, and with continued eating of cooked foods, you will run out of enzymes. Eating living foods helps preserve the body’s precious enzymes. On a strict Raw Food Diet you may not eat those foods that are fried, grilled, baked, steamed or processed. You may heat foods as long as the temperature does not exceed 116 degrees. Now that I understood what a raw food diet was, I wanted to know some of the benefits.
The Benefits of Living Food
There are many health benefits. Some of the benefits include weight loss, better digestion and body detoxification. This diet promotes weight loss by helping the body burn calories faster due to improved digestion. The health benefits of this diet can include a reduction in cholesterol and reduction in some of the risk of heart disease and a reduction in cancer risks. The diet is low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, and high in potassium, magnesium and fiber. It is also a great way to detox the body. The diet contains no chemicals or toxins. Over time this diet will help cleanse the colon, kidneys and detoxify the liver.
What’s For Dinner?
What can one eat on a Raw Food Diet? It is not only fruit and salad… Since the diet is vegan, it contains no dairy, meat or other animal products. Other than this short list, everything else is allowed in the diet as long as the food is not heated over 116 Degrees. So the diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts, seaweed, dried fruits, juices and seeds. If all this sounds far too “green” for you, then there is some great news.
As long as 75% of the food you eat is raw, then you can consider yourself on a Raw Food Diet. As with most everything, moderation will help you succeed. You can always try eating the living food during the day, before dinner. This program suggests raw food for breakfast and lunch, follows with a healthy, “traditional” dinner. The health benefits from eating raw food is not an all or nothing proposition.You will get health benefits from introducing more fruits and vegetables into your existing diet.
How to Get Started
If you are starting a raw food diet for weight loss, you may want to begin slowly by introducing these foods into your meal plans. Otherwise you may find the diet too difficult and give up on your diet before you see the desired results. If you do a less extreme version, like simply changing certain meals to living foods, like at breakfast and lunch, this may be all the help you need to loose a few extra pounds. This way you are changing your eating habits slowly, permanently and hopefully worry free.