Raw food diets are on the rise, as people are becoming increasingly aware of the food they eat.
The idea behind raw food diets is to consume food in its natural state, without cooking or heating. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Minimal processing occurs in raw food diets in order to preserve the enzymes that are lost when we heat food.
Credit to Daehyun Park, Flickr
Instead of cooking, raw foods are prepared in a variety of ways. They can be dehydrated, juiced, soaked, blended, and pickled — the options are endless and keeps you on your toes. There are also options of foods like sprouted seeds, cheese, and fermented foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut that undergo simple processing. As long as it isn’t pasteurised, homogenised, or produced with chemicals and food additives, they can be consumed as part of a raw food diet.
There are different kinds of raw food diets as well:
Raw Vegan diets consist of unprocessed, raw plant foods not heated above 40-49°C. These are typically fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. There are also subgroups focused on different aspects of this diet, including fruits, juices, and sprouted seeds.
Raw Food Tacos - Geoff Peters, Flickr
Raw Vegetarianism excludes meats, fish, and poultry, but includes animal products such as dairy and/or eggs.
Raw animal food diets consist of any food that can be eaten raw and not heated above 40°C. This includes raw meats, eggs, raw dairy, and fermented foods. Subgroups also exist for this particular kind of diet, such as the Primal Diet (raw fatty meats, organ meats, dairy, honey, fruits and vegetable juices), and the Raw Paleolithic Diet (Raw Meat Diet).
Raw quiche - Christoffer Undisclosed, Flickr
But why do people eat raw foods?
Raw foodists, people who practise raw food diets, believe that consuming primarily raw foods enhances your immune and digestive systems. It has also been said to improve complexion, aid in weight loss, and lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
If you’re curious about what vegetarian options are available on the market today, Foodi runs a Vegetarian Walking Tour in Adelaide that takes you around to some of the best healthy eating places in the city. You’ll be able to pick up tips on good places to eat and buy raw foods, and how to prepare them for yourself at home.
The most important thing to remember is that this is a lifestyle. Making long-term improvements to your health requires patience and commitment to change.
It may take a while to adjust to this new way of eating, and it may be difficult at first, but once you’ve settled in, you’ll find yourself happier, healthier and more energetic than before!