Raw Food Diet: Benefits & Foods To Eat
Going on a raw food diet can be a quick way to lose weight and improve your nutrient intake profile, but before starting the diet, there are some things you should understand.

What is a Raw Food Diet?

A raw food diet is one in which people eat only or primarily raw foods, those that have been unprocessed, cooked or refined. The idea behind this is that such a diet is what humans evolved to eat over hundreds of thousands of years. [1] Technologies like pasteurization, homogenization, and other forms of food processing have only been developed in the past hundred years. Essentially, a raw diet is what we were designed to consume, and as such, proponents of this diet consider it a healthier option.
Raw vegetables and fruits make up a large proportion of the diet, but there are many other raw and unprocessed foods that can fit into this diet. Unlike many other diets, this isn’t a short-term or fad diet; instead, this can become a permanent lifestyle choice, or at least key elements can be retained on a permanent basis, such as eating 2-3 pieces of raw fruit each day, for example. [2]

Raw Food Diet Plan

On a raw food diet, there are certain foods that are acceptable, and others that must be eliminated.

Raw Foods to Eat

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Grains and legumes
  • Raw eggs or dairy products
  • Raw meats
  • Raw seafood
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nut butter
  • Nut milk
  • Olive oil and coconut oil (cold-pressed, virgin)
  • Dried fruit and meat
  • Sprouts

Foods to Avoid

  • Alcohol, coffee, and tea
  • Refined sugar
  • Baked goods
  • Cooked meats, vegetables, and fruits
  • Pasta
  • Pastries
  • Pasteurized dairy products
  • Refined oil

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

The many benefits of a raw food diet include the following [3]:
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Improvement in liver function
  • Protection of heart health
The antioxidantsvitaminsminerals, amino acids, proteins, and other nutrients found in raw foods are better able to serve the body in their natural form. They can be easier to absorb, and you know that you aren’t losing much of the nutritional value during processing or cooking. [4] Studies have found that  [5]a raw food diet is able to do the following:
  • Weight loss
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Lower your cholesterol levels
  • Treat osteoporosis
  • Aid in digestion
  • Boost immunity
  • Treat constipation
  • Improve skin health
  • Boost mental health
  • Prevent cancer
  • Treat gallstones
  • Prevent obesity
  • Treat muscle ache or myalgia
  • Prevent autoimmune diseases
  • Improve bone health
High levels of soluble and insoluble fiber in these foods can help aid in digestive troubles and improve your energy levels. High levels of B vitamins in certain protein sources can optimize the metabolism, which regulates hormone production and help women struggling with PMS and menopause symptoms. [6] When you remove many of the additives, chemicals, and unnatural ingredients from your food, you can also cut down on food allergy symptoms. By boosting the immune system, this diet is a comprehensive way to increase longevity and overall health.
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