Raw food diets have been around for a long time. In fact, we’ve been eating uncooked foods and some cooked foods for more than 10,000 years. But, it’s only been in the last 150 years that the concept of raw food has gained mainstream acceptance. And, it’s only in the last 35 years that raw food has become the way most people eat. While there are some raw food diet plans that advocate a high-fat diet, most raw food diets advocate eating whole, uncooked foods.
Raw food dieting has received a lot of attention in the past few years. Most people are afraid of eating raw, thinking that it is dangerous to their health. However, eating raw food provides you with many health benefits, including weight loss, increased energy, detoxification, and even curing some diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Food is one of the greatest gifts we have. We are often times so underemployed with the ability to create food, that at times we treat it as if it is one of the least important elements in our lives. Yet, what if we were to treat it differently? Food is so much more than a source of nutrition, in the sense that it can be an act of love and joy.
What exactly is raw food?
In the 1800s, the natural health movement spawned the raw food movement.
Raw food is defined as food that has not been heated/cooked over 115-118 degrees Fahrenheit. This would retain nutrients and enzymes, save energy while cooking, and keep food in its most natural state.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted/grown grains, and legumes are often found in a raw diet. Raw foodists are vegans in general (100 percent plant-based). Some raw foodists, on the other hand, consume raw fish, meat, and dairy items.
What is the significance of raw food?
Some scientists think that the raw diet is our natural diet since it is similar to what humans ate before agriculture, animal domestication, and the introduction of processed foods.
Raw food advocates believe that it is beneficial to one’s health. According to anecdotal evidence, the advantages of a raw diet include:
- With a clear mind
- Skin that is free of dirt
- Improved gastrointestinal health
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhancement of energy
- Body fat reduction
Raw and prepared food digestion
After consuming raw food, the immune system is considered to have a little response. Conversely, the white blood cell count may rise after consuming heated food, indicating a moderate stress response in the body.
Feeding and digesting raw food is a very complicated process. We have to chew a lot, and our bodies have to work harder to digest what we eat. We have less energy when we eat raw foods.
Some individuals now find it helpful. However, in times of shortage, the notion of obtaining less energy from food by spending longer time eating and digesting it did not appeal.
Many people believe that eating raw plant foods makes other animals grow bigger, stronger, and healthier, so why should humans be any different?
Take a look at the size of your stomach for starters.
When you eat a lot of raw plant foods, your intestinal capacity tends to expand. Ruminants (cows and sheep) have a multi-compartment stomach that helps them digest the cellulose in grass. Bacteria in your digestive system may also break down and digest cellulose.
Second, keep the chewing time in mind.
Chimpanzees in Tanzania chew for more than 6 hours each day, despite the fact that they aren’t even as large as most people. We’d have to chew for approximately 5 hours a day if we ate like these monkeys (more than 40 percent of the day). We can save about 4 hours per day if we eat cooked meals.
Third, although other species (particularly primates) have numerous genetic similarities, they also have significant variances.
To put it another way, little changes may have major ramifications. Observing other animals may be beneficial, but it can also be deceptive.
Fourth, domestication is the only way for many natural foods to become as delicious or healthy as they are.
Plants in the wild are often smaller and have less nutrients (in terms of indigestible material) than their native equivalents.
For example, the earliest tomatoes were sour and the size of croutons. Older apples resembled rose hips in appearance (and flavor) (which they are also associated with). Early roots of the Queen Anne’s Lace plant are bitter, white (i.e., without the orange color that beta-carotene contains), and pencil-sized.
According to some, the quantity of fresh vegetables available throughout the year makes a 100% raw food diet feasible today.
Prior to the advent of agriculture, humans were likely hungry on a regular basis and relied on fat reserves to live. With a raw diet, the capacity to retain fat in the body for such long periods of hunger would be less probable.
According to some experts, individuals who ate raw food before our time would have died of starvation.
Cooking, according to some anthropologists, was one of life’s major changes, resulting in increased nutritional value, brain growth, and body size.
After language, Charles Darwin regarded the development of fire to be man’s greatest discovery. People discovered that cooking toxic roots or plants turned them innocuous and that hard, stringy roots could be made edible. Darwin recognized that if they had to, people could live without cooking.
Anyone who eats meat understands the importance of cooking. Because the human body cannot effectively absorb and assimilate huge quantities of raw meat, eating meat grew more attractive and useful as cooking became more widespread.
What impact does cooking have on food?
- It has the potential to make food safer.
- It has the ability to concentrate tastes and smells.
- It has the ability to slow down the degradation process.
- It has the ability to soften even the most tough foods.
- It raises the amount of energy that our bodies can get from meals.
- Breaks down starch molecules into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces.
- Protein molecules are denatured.
Many of these findings imply that the body requires less effort to get the advantages of eating. It is widely known that feeding huge amounts of cooked grain to animals makes them fatter.
Getting extra energy from food was believed to be a significant biological benefit.
Those who prepared the meal had a higher chance of surviving and reproducing. Cooking is a universal human activity, and no society has ever thrived without it.
When food is cooked, however, chemicals that are detrimental to health may develop. Acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, and Maillard chemicals are among them. It is possible to prevent them by consuming raw foods.
Normal foodstuffs’ acrylamide content
Theory of enzymes
The idea of enzymes is being utilized to promote the benefits of raw meals today. Some people believe that the living enzymes in raw food enhance health and illness prevention.
To be honest, I’ve never been able to grasp that interpretation. The enzymes in the raw materials, as far as I’m aware, are plant-specific.
Enzymes are also proteins, and when we consume proteins, they denature, making their biological role ineffective.
This is why a diabetic does not take an insulin shot. Insulin is a protein hormone that loses its biological activity after being eaten because it gets denatured.
Other ways of cooking
Raw foodists are known for coming up with unique ways to cook classic meals.
Consider the following scenario:
- Cheese and other dairy products may be replaced with nut pastes and purées.
- Drying vegetables, for example, may enhance the taste and texture of meals (think sun-dried tomatoes). Improve, B. Chips.
- The seeds and grains are germinated and then ground into flour, which may be used to create baked products like pastries.
What you should know about raising animals in their natural state
Raw food may help you enhance your health.
There is evidence that moving to a raw diet from a normal Western diet (which includes a low intake of fruits and vegetables and a high intake of sugar, chemicals, and processed carbs) improves health.
A 12-day raw food diet decreased body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure in a small sample of overweight and unwell individuals, according to an investigation. Even while eating up to 10 pounds of food each day, the average weight reduction was nearly a pound per day (the average for most people is about 4 pounds of food a day).
In today’s obese culture, fast weight reduction may appear appealing, but it is not so desirable from a survival perspective. A raw diet may be hazardous and decrease your chances of survival if you have a lean physique and don’t need to shed weight.
The raw food diets of almost 500 raw food consumers were examined in the Giessen raw food research, which was performed in Germany. The individuals in the research ate between 70 and 100 percent of their meals uncooked. The lower their BMI was, the more raw food they consumed (BMI).
Only the raw diet has been related to health issues.
Although there are numerous advantages to eating a raw plant-based diet, such as B. consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and coconuts, there are also some drawbacks.
The most serious issue is that individuals may not be receiving enough essential nutrients.
Another issue is that a decrease in calorie intake may cause the body’s essential functions to be suppressed (e.g. hormone synthesis).
We know that a cooked plant-based diet may supply enough energy, therefore the low quantity of energy in a raw diet seems to be directly linked to raw foods.
- Some phytochemicals may be absorbed better in raw foods (for example, sulforaphane from broccoli), whereas others can be absorbed less well (e.g. lycopene from tomatoes and carotenoids from carrots, which are converted into a more digestible molecular form when cooked).
- Nonetheless, the amount of antioxidants in cheese eaters’ blood seems to be enough.
- Some individuals who follow a raw food diet have low levels of vitamin B12, HDL (commonly known as good cholesterol), and bone mass.
- Homocysteine levels may rise, which has been related to an increase in cardiovascular disease.
- Women who consume more raw foods are more likely to have partial or total amenorrhea. Changes in reproductive hormones, including a reduction in testosterone production, may occur in men who eat a raw food diet.
There were some mixed outcomes.
According to scientists, a rigorous raw food diet would not provide enough energy, but it will enhance some health aspects.
The findings were different when individuals were forced to consume raw food in the wild (such as castaways or solitary explorers). Some people only live for a few weeks. Others, like the lady who fled Indian captivity and survived for almost seven months on bananas, live longer.
Because the quantity of food eaten is so high relative to the low calorie intake, a 100% raw, plant-based diet may be beneficial for individuals with extra fat. On a raw, plant-based diet, it’s virtually difficult to consume too many calories and gain weight.
Raw meals, on the other hand, are high in sugar and carbs. Although honey and agave nectar are naturally occurring sweeteners, they act in the same manner as other sugars in the body.
Nuts, dried fruits, avocados, seeds, coconuts, and freshly pressed oils are all used in raw cookery. These meals are all rich in calories and may be easily overindulged. (See my comparison of excellent and too-good meals, in which dried fruit is classified as too-good.)
So raw does not imply calorie-free or unrestricted consumption.
Estimated gross operating day
What does a person’s raw food day entail?
A typical day in the life of a woman
A normal day in the life of a guy
Conclusions and suggestions
Raw food is nutrient-dense, according to the majority of individuals. Raw plant meals are tasty, nutrient-dense, hydrating, and low in calories.
Many individuals in North America, on the other hand, eat a diet rich in processed and refined foods. Overcooked vegetables may lose a lot of vitamins, particularly if the cooking water is discarded or if they are consumed long after they have been cooked.
Nutritional deficits, gastrointestinal issues, and obesity may all result as a result of this.
Simple prepared meals, such as steamed rice, boiled lentils, or gently steamed vegetables, on the other hand, seem to be healthful when consumed all at once.
As a result, most individuals would benefit from consuming more raw plant foods.
Fat loss and energy balance
Given the variety of raw foods available today, a 100% raw diet is likely to be healthful.
Incorporating more raw foods into your diet may help you lose weight if you’re overweight.
A 100% raw diet will probably not offer enough energy to remain healthy in the long term for people who already have lean bodies. Raw foodists, on the other hand, have been following this diet for decades and have obviously adapted.
Evidence based on experience
In the end, you can determine the effectiveness of a raw plant-based diet based on your own personal experience and objective measures.
The following are examples of experimental indicators:
- What does it feel like to consume mainly raw foods?
- What does it look like after a meal consisting mostly of prepared food?
- Do you have greater stamina now?
- How’s it doing with your digestion?
- What about your propensity towards overeating? Is this more likely to happen with prepared or raw foods?
The following are some examples of objective indicators:
- Biochemical blood test results (e.g. glucose, triglycerides levels)
- Your sporting or training results
- Hormone levels in your body
- Your body fat percentage, lean body mass, and weight are all factors to consider.
Warriors drank the fresh blood of horses in the 17th century. Fresh blood and raw milk are part of the traditional Maasai cuisine in Kenya.
You may drink less water if you consume more raw foods.
To get the advantages, you don’t have to convert to a completely plant-based diet. Eating more raw, plant-based meals, for example, may help prevent cancer.
The indigenous peoples of the north, such as the Eskimos, consume a lot of raw meat and fish in their traditional diet.
Some argue that a raw meal should be referred to as sun-cooked rather than raw.
Because you don’t use a stove or microwave when you cook raw, you save money on gas and energy.
Immunocompromised patients’ diets often consist of thoroughly heated meals to destroy germs found in raw foods. The research revealed that consuming a lot of prepared food isn’t particularly good for food safety.
To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.
Bioavailability and kinetics of sulforaphane in humans following intake of cooked and raw broccoli, Vermeulen M, et al. 10505-10509 in J Agric Food Chem.
Peltonen R, et al. Uncooked vegan diet changes profile of human fecal microflora: Computational analysis of bacterial cellular fatty acid profiles by gas-liquid chromatography of a direct stool sample. Appl Environ Microbiol 1992;58:3660-3666.
How Cooking Made Us Human, R. Wrangham. Perseus Book Group published Catch the Fire in 2009.
Raw cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely linked with bladder cancer risk, according to Tang L, et al. Biomarkers Prev Cancer Epidemiol 2008;17:938-944.
Wrangham R & Conklin-Brittain N. Cooking as a biological trait. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2003;136:35-46.
B. Wobber et al. Cooked food is preferred by great apes. Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 340-348, 2008.
SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ulijaszek, SJ Ul
MS Donaldson. Vitamin B12 metabolic status in a mostly raw vegan diet supplemented with tablets, nutritional yeast, or probiotic supplements. 229-234 in Ann Nutr Metab 2000.
AL Rauma, et al. Vegans who follow a pure vegan diet without cooking have lower vitamin B-12 levels (live food diet). J Nutr 125:2511-2515, 1995.
Antioxidant status in long-term followers of a strict vegan diet without cooking, Rauma AL, et al. Am J Clin Nutr, vol. 62, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no. 12, no
Gardner, A., and colleagues Cooked and uncooked meals were compared in individuals receiving remission induction treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 5684-5688, 2008.
A method for investigating the health effects of Mayard diet items in clinical trials: a case study of the ICARE clinical trial in healthy people, Pouillart P, et al. Ann NY Acad Sci 1126:173-176 (2008).
Dietary variables and the risk of breast cancer: a control study in a community in the south of France, Bessaoud F, et al. 177-187 in Nutr Cancer, 2008.
Dietary trends and the risk of acute myocardial infarction in 52 countries: findings from the INTERHEART research. Igbal R, et al. Circulation, vol. 118, no. 19, pp. 1929-1937, 2008.
AL Garcia et al. In Germans, a long-term rigorous raw diet is linked with high plasma beta-carotene levels and low plasma lycopene levels. 1293-1300 in Br J Nutr, 2008.
What exactly is going on? http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displayStory.cfm?story id=13139619
Long-term raw food intake in humans is linked to lower blood LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as higher plasma homocysteine levels and lower serum HDL cholesterol levels, according to Koebnick C, et al. J Nutr 135:2372–2378, 2005.
Explore (NY) 2005;1:272-277. Hobbs SH. Attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of raw food eaters.
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There’s a lot of things to know about raw food. You need to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts, and you need to take a lot of supplements. For those that want to live on raw food, the problem is that there are only a few good recipes for raw food.. Read more about raw food diet cost for humans and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why a raw food diet is bad for you?
Raw food diets can be dangerous for your health. They are often high in sugar and fat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Is eating raw food good for you?
Eating raw food is not good for you. Raw fruits and vegetables contain bacteria that can cause illness.
What types of food are raw?
Raw food is food that has not been cooked or processed in any way.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- raw food
- raw food diet
- raw food diet meal plan
- raw foods list
- raw foodism