A Raw Food diet advocates believe that it provides more energy for the body and lessens the risk of disease. However, further studies are needed to prove such. As some researchers believe that raw diet can also deprive important nutrients from the body, which could potentially lead to severe undernourishment.
Raw foodists, as these people are called, lives out with dietary patterns that consist of uncooked and unprocessed plant-based foods in their most natural state. Raw food diet is believed to be the most healthful for the body. According to them, it is a lifestyle, and not just a plain method of weight reduction or dieting. The uncooked foods which compose more than 75percent of the dietary patterns are prepared in by ways like peeled, chopped, strained, blended and dehydrated. Aside from whole vegetables and fruits, among the staple food ingredients for raw food diets include seaweed, sprouts, seeds, whole grains, beans, legumes, dried fruits and nuts. On the other hand, processed and refined foods like sugar and caffeine are prohibited.
As raw food diet is a subtype of vegetarianism, raw foodists mainly do not eat meat in their diets, but some do eat eggs and cheese as long as they are derived from raw and unpasteurized milk. A raw food diet is prepared through food dehydrators that make the vegetables crunchy. The dehydrator heats the food, but not as high as 115 to118 degrees. Several recipes are also widely known nowadays utilizing raw fruits and vegetables.
There are many challenges in raw diet, though. Medical literature on the raw food diet is limited. Researchers focus vegetarianism and veganism and the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but only a few focuses on the specific effect of cooking the vegetables that reduces the nutritional contents of the vegetables. Although, a study that reflects the effect of raw food diet on certain cancers like that of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and gastric system gives raw food diet a positive light. Additionally, the raw food diet is a diets that work fast. The downside is that one study showed that a diet of only raw food can cause interruptions to the menstrual cycle due to drastic weight loss.
Whether raw food diet is healthy or not, the final decision is yet unknown because studies are still ongoing. Accordingly, raw foodists have been found out to have adequate levels of vitamin A and carotenoids which are seen on raw and fresh fruits and vegetables. These certain chemicals are known to protect the body against chronic diseases. However, they are also seen to have low levels of lycopene, which is only derived when tomatoes are cooked. Lycopene plays a great role in preventing diseases like cancer, etc. Another thing would be the limited acquisition of vitamin B12, which is available on animal foods and products. Vitamin B12 deficiency results to anemia and neurological impairment. In addition, raw foodists do not eat fish, they may not get enough essential substances like omega 3 fatty acids. For the raw foodists who are slim, there can be risk of low bone mass in the hips and the lumbar spine and hip.
Should an individual decide to be a raw foodist, a complete nutritional requirement should be focused to suffice the body’s daily need. This is achieved through variation of the different foods raw food diet could offer, alongside with the necessary supplements to maintain a healthy diet.