Vegans are already taking off as a diet that people realize is healthier than a mainstream, omnivore diet. However, for those who wish to take it to the next step and eat a diet that is even more beneficial for their health and the environment, the raw vegan diet is easy, fun and fresh!
As the name suggests, this diet is mainly comprised of uncooked food. Although there are raw foodists (or raw foodies in popular lingo) that consume raw meat, eggs and dairy products, these are not the majority for several reasons, including the fact that eating raw meat and dairy carries some risk of bacteria, viruses and can even carry diseases. Therefore, the majority opt for consuming fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Furthermore, to ensure optimum health, they refuse to drink tap water, using filters in order to increase benefits of their diet.
On top of eating everything raw, the focus is to also consume organic, local and whole foods that are, of course, very wholesome and healthy. This is especially important to avoid chemicals that can’t be diluted or diminished by being cooked, and also because most raw foodies are already aware of the benefits of eating local and organic.
Now, the reasons for choosing this diet are many. First, the ones who already made the transition claim that weight loss is not only possible, but gaining the weight back on is next to impossible. This is due to the system’s newfound digestive abilities and of course, the lack of fat in the foods eaten. The person’s skin becomes clean of blemishes, zits and blackheads; a noticeable increase of energy appears; and the risk of developing cardiac and heart problems drop significantly by improving blood cholesterol levels.
The digestive system is enhanced because cooking food kills enzymes, which die if the food is heated above 116 Fahrenheit (47 Celsius). Some vitamins and minerals are depleted if cooked as well. A dehydrator is used at times to make food cooked without heating it over the temperature limit. Other options on how to prepare the food include cold soups, juices, soaked nuts and sprouted grain and bean seeds.
Another advantage is that raw food helps to alkalize the body. Cooked food is higher in acidic toxins which are difficult for the body to eliminate and can disrupt the natural alkaline/acid balance we all have. This unbalance is a major factor in weight gain and diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
There are a few foods to avoid, however, because they are potentially unsafe when raw. One does not need to avoid them completely, but eat them in moderation, since they have their benefits as well.
People with fair skin need to consume a low amount of greens. They are toxic when raw, especially buckwheat since it contains fagopyrin, which triggers photosensitivity.
Kidney beans contain phytohaemagglutinin which could be toxic when raw.
Alfalfa sprouts contain canavanine.
Apricot kernels contain amygdalin which contains cyanide.
Parsnips contain furanocoumarin, which they use to defend against predators.
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